Northland rugby fans can book their 2021 leave with confidence after Whangārei's women's Rugby World Cup fixtures were confirmed on Tuesday.
In what will be the competition's first trip to the southern hemisphere, pool matches will be played at Semenoff Stadium across three days - September 18, September 23 and September 28 (Saturday, Thursday and Tuesday).
At least one quarter-final will also be played at Semenoff Stadium on Sunday, October 3, while the remaining quarter-finals and pool matches will be played at Auckland's Waitakere Stadium.
The semifinals, final and bronze-medal matches will be played at Eden Park in Auckland. The draw for the competition had not been finalised.
The dates were confirmed at an announcement in Auckland on Tuesday which saw several current Black Ferns, including Northland-raised players Arihiana Marino-Tauhinu and Aleisha-Pearl Nelson, doing a skills and drills session with local children.
"I think it's an amazing opportunity for the region," Marino-Tauhinu said.
"It'll inspire a lot of young girls and boys to be a part of the growing aspect of women's rugby."
Marino-Tauhinu, 27, moved down to Auckland for university about nine years ago and now captains the Farah Palmer Cup Counties Manukau team.
The halfback/first five, selected for the Black Ferns in 2015 and again last year, said the thought of playing for the first time at home in front of friends and family would be a dream come true.
"Thinking about it makes me a little bit emotional, it'd be indescribable if the day actually comes."
Marino-Tauhinu said had such high-level games been played in Northland when she was young, it would have given her and others her age the belief they could succeed in the women's rugby pathway.
Given the success of Northland's first Farah Palmer Cup team last year, Marino-Tauhinu hoped she could return home to pull on the Cambridge Blue jersey soon.
"For me to come back and represent my family, where I come from, it would be an honour and a privilege."
Northland-raised Black Ferns prop Leilani Perese was just as excited at the prospect of playing in a World Cup on home turf.
"It's something I've always wanted to do, go back home and play, and to hopefully play in the World Cup would be even better."
Perese, 27, hoped Northland's young female rugby players would be just as inspired as she was when a world women's team came to play in Whangārei when she was about eight years old.
"I remember them coming to the stadium and I was like, 'Man I want to do this, I want to play rugby and I want to play at the stadium'."
Perese, a health and physical education teacher at Auckland's Tangaroa College, was adamant she would return to play in her home province, but she knew a starting position wasn't a given.
"I believe I'll have to really fight for my position when I come back, there's some really amazing talent."