Warwick Taylor found out there are now two All Blacks in his family the old-fashioned way - by letter.

The Burnside High School physical education teacher was looking after a group of Year 12s at Mt Lyford, out of cellphone range, when son Tom was selected to start at first-five in tomorrow's test against the Wallabies in Wellington.

So the 1987 World Cup winner's wife, Tracy, wrote him a letter.

"I ... sent it with a teacher who was going up to Mt Lyford with another group of kids," said Mrs Taylor.


"I had to do it the old-fashioned way.

"Warwick knew that Tom was in the 22, but not that he was starting."

Warwick Taylor made his debut for the All Blacks against the Lions at Lancaster Park 30 years ago.

He and Tracy got engaged the night before the test.

Mrs Taylor, who also works at Burnside High, as a sports office co-ordinator, was late to work yesterday as she fielded a deluge of congratulatory calls and texts.

"It's been quite surreal," she said.

"I know Tom harboured the desire to be an All Black for a long time, and he's worked bloody hard, so it's a huge thrill.

"He was a natural at all sports. He settled into rugby and made the rep team each year.


"He was quite a small boy growing up, but started growing about year 12."

He was able to get tickets for the test for his parents and sisters and his girlfriend Jess and her brother, and they are flying to Wellington tomorrow.

The Taylors are the 18th father-and-son All Black combo.