'It's about staying in the moment' - Kiwi TMO ready for World Cup opener

While the All Blacks technically begin their Rugby World Cup tomorrow, another Kiwi will have the first share of the limelight - referee Ben Skeen taking charge as the Television Match Official in tonight's opening match.

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The whistle-blower will be the first Kiwi in action at this year’s World Cup in Japan. Source: 1 NEWS

Into his second World Cup, Skeen is on duty for tonight's opener between hosts Japan and Russia, a world away from his day job as Auckland Grammar's Associate Headmaster.

"To play a part in that is very humbling to say the least," Skeen told 1 NEWS.

The teacher turned TMO though is hoping that his role won't be in the spotlight too much in Japan.

"We really want to be in a position where this is a celebration of rugby, and players' actions determine the outcomes of those fixtures.

"It is about staying in the moment understanding there is a picture and you need to rule on that, without allowing your mind to go too far into thinking about the consequences for teams or wider stakeholders in the game."

One of just four TMOs in Japan for the World Cup, Skeen's involvement is dependent on his countrymen, unable to officiate in any All Blacks matches - not that it'll be a concern for him.

"As a proud Kiwi I would have no regrets whatsoever if it stays that way."