Against all the odds the All Blacks are attempting to win the Rugby World Cup for the third time in a row. Winning two in a row has never been done before and to win three in a row would be enormous for the team and an incredible endorsement for the calibre of New Zealand rugby.
The RWC is the pinnacle of rugby and this could be their biggest challenge yet, due to the quality and ability of the other teams this year. While my money is on the All Blacks for their skill, speed, strength and an absolute determination to be the best, right now it's anybody's cup. As I stand on the sidelines in Tokyo, I will be, along with the rest of New Zealand, hoping they can do the business.
But in one month's time, while the winner of the Webb Ellis Cup will have been recognised and celebrated as world champions, back in the New Zealand bush, another battle is going on that will continue long after the world cup is over.
While the All Blacks have taken our inimitable Kiwi battling spirit into Japan, our kiwi are fighting to survive against the odds.
Every year, the kiwi population has been declining at a rate of 2 per cent per annum. A statistic that could mean the extinction of our beloved national bird in our lifetime.
Without protection from predators, 95 per cent of kiwi are killed in the wild before they are old enough to breed. But in areas that are actively managed and predator controlled, the kiwi survival rate increases from 5 to 60 per cent.
Only a century ago, kiwi numbered in the millions. Now we're down to thousands and for one of the South Island species, the rowi – they number just 375.
The biggest threat to kiwi chicks is stoats, and to adult kiwi it's dogs. All dogs, regardless of size, breed, training or temperament are potential kiwi killers. Predator control is crucial to the kiwi's survival.
Kiwis for kiwi, the national charity that raises funds to support community-led kiwi conservation groups and one I am very proud to support as an ambassador, has developed a new strategy to accelerate kiwi numbers and turn around the 2 per cent decline.
With the help of Operation Nest Egg and the many volunteers around the country that are dedicating their time and money, the number of kiwi chicks in predator-free creches can be greatly increased. Once they safely grow and start reproducing, their young can be relocated every year to predator free areas to start new populations.
It's like setting up an endowment fund for kiwi. Currently, it would take 50 years or more for these sites to reach capacity but Kiwis for kiwi aims to reduce that to 5-10 years.
The prospect of losing our national icon - the humble kiwi - is unspeakable for New Zealanders. Yet that is what we could be facing.
Unlike sitting on the sideline at the game, we need to continue the fight to save kiwi. Now is the time to do it, before it's too late. The kiwi is our iconic namesake. It is a moniker we wear with pride and what sets us apart from the rest of the world.
So while you're sharing the energy, entertainment and pure excitement of watching our boys fight to protect their turf and claim the Rugby World Cup, let's take some of that energy and use it on home turf to win the fight for our national bird.
After all, how "Kiwi" would we be if there were no kiwi left?
• Sir Graham Henry is a former All Blacks coach and an Ambassador for Kiwis for kiwi