A team of Northland primary schoolgirls are about to create history by playing in the curtain raiser game for the New Zealand Warriors rugby league match at Mt Smart Stadium.
Not only that, the 11 Glenbervie School students, aged 10 and under, will perform a haka before the women's Warriors team run on to the field to play Auckland in a warm-up game tonight.
The team are making history as it is the first time an all-girl school team has played a curtain raiser match for the Warriors. The players are excited as well as nervous about performing on such a big and public stage.
They have been training for the past two weeks under the tutelage of leading Northland rugby league referee Nick Waihi whose daughter Addison, 8, is the co-captain.
The girls will play Pt England School of Auckland in a 9-a-side game that will last just 10 minutes.
Four or five girls have never played league. Talia Cooper, who has a prosthetic left leg, does not let that deter her. She also plays play football and athletics.
"I am excited at playing at Mt Smart because I've never done it before. I also look forward to meeting the Warriors players and getting their signatures," Cooper, 10, said.
She is nervous about performing the haka because "heaps of people will be watching".
Addison Waihi has previously played twice at Mt Smart Stadium for the Marist under-9 and under-11 boy's teams and wants to one day represent New Zealand in league.
Like Cooper, she took is looking forward to watching the feature match between the Warriors and Newcastle Knights and collecting autographs after the game.
Coach Waihi said it would be a historic occasion for the group of multi-talented girls, who also played basketball, hockey, football and netball.
"Teaching them is awesome because they want to listen and learn. Moving forward, they will see a pathway to growing their game and I think it's also going to grow our women's team in Northland."
Glenbervie School teacher Brice Hoare said the girls were doing really well and that tonight's game in Auckland would be a fantastic opportunity for them to showcase their skills.
Warriors media manager Richard Becht said several boys teams from Northland, including Takahiwai, had played in curtain raisers in the past but this was a first for the girls.
"It's got to be highly exciting for the Glenbervie School girls to come and play on a ground where the women's Warriors team will also be playing. It's a massive occasion."
He said the Warriors franchise had been promoting a lot of women-related aspects to the sport, including age-group matches involving primary school students.
Adam Blair is the only Northland born and raised player in the Warriors' team.
The women's team does not have any Northland players.