Eddie and Sandra Tofa are still basking in the glory of a world champion in the family.

The massively proud Whanganui couple are parents of Black Fern Sosoli Talawadua who came off the reserve bench as prop for the last 10 minutes of the Women's World Cup rugby final against England in Belfast Northern Ireland at the weekend.

Eddie was on-hand in Belfast to witness the epic 41-32 triumph over England, while mum Sandra stayed home to run the River City Boxing Tournament at the boxing gym they both run at the Kaierau Country Club.

It did not come down to a coin toss to decide which parent flew to Belfast, but rather Sandra's dislike of long haul international flights.


"Sosoli and her husband Isoa rang to ask if I had my passport in order and I did, so they booked me on a flight to come and watch the world cup final," Eddie Tofa said.

"It was such a proud moment for both Sandra and me when the girls won, they are great bunch of women and the partying would have gone on for days if we didn't have an early flight home the next day.

"Sosoli played rugby when growing up in Whanganui, but the competition just wasn't here, so she moved to Hamilton about four years ago with a dream of becoming a Black Fern - now we have a world champion in the family."

Talawadua has nine siblings, including Viki Tofa, a Wanganui and New Zealand Heartland prop who also represented his country as an 18-year-old amateur boxer alongside Joseph Parker in 2010/2011.

"Sosoli's younger brother Sana moved up to stay with her and Isoa in Hamilton and has only just misse a spot in the Waikato development squad, but he has been named to play in the town/country game in two weeks, so they might look at him again," Tofa said.

In typical islander fashion, both Eddie and son-in-law Isoa turned up to the world cup final dressed in shorts and jandals.

"Everyone kept looking at us and saying 'who are these fullas?' It didn't matter to us we were so excited about the game. I always knew they would win the world cup, although my heart was beating a bit fast after the first half," Tofa conceded.

The Kiwis had to come back from 17-5 down and then traded the lead three times from the 50-60th minute.


"I always had faith though and we are massively proud."

Sandra Tofa and other family members were on hand to welcome the team and daughter/sibling home in Auckland on Tuesday, but there will be no rest for the former Whanganui High School student.

"Sosoli is captain of the Waikato women's team and has to fly down to Christchuch to play this Saturday. She is so committed and like all the other girls she's up training at 5am and then back in the gym until 8pm or 9pm at night after work," Tafa said.

"She is usually a hooker, but with Black Ferns captain Fiao'o Fa'amausili always playing 80 minutes the coaches transferred Sosoli to prop to come off the bench. Now that Fiao'o is retiring, who knows, they might make Sosoli the No 1 hooker for the Black Ferns."

Meanwhile, fellow Black Fern and former head of physical education at Whanganui Girls' College Kristina Sue was reserve halfback for the world cup final, but with No1 halfback, kicker and gamemaker Kendra Cocksedge in such hot form she missed game time. Sue now plays for Manawatu.