Ethan Jack Bai's rugby sprigs haven't touched the ground since his star turn at the World Cup opening ceremony.

The Hamilton schoolboy, who dashed and dodged adult actors during the ceremony's most moving segment - before he met Jonah Lomu - was still flying high yesterday. "It has been so amazing, just awesome," Ethan, or EJ to his mates, said. "I love rugby and acting so to get to do both was really cool."

Ethan's dad Brenton said his son's performance was 10 out of 10 - "He kicked it out of the park."

The 13-year-old and Christchurch schoolboy Seth Murray were chosen from 100 hopefuls and they spent more than 80 hours practising for the main role.


But on Wednesday producers told the boys Ethan had the lead. He'll have plenty of tales to tell at Berkley Middle School tomorrow. "I couldn't tell anyone exactly why I was going up to Auckland all the time so now they all know."

An estimated 1.63 million New Zealanders watched the All Blacks game on TV, making it the second most watched TV event after David Tua's bout against Lennox Lewis.