New Zealand's Kiwi Ferns will play their first fixture since winning their third world cup title in 2008, against England at Whangarei's Toll Stadium next Sunday.
NZ Women's Rugby League treasurer Karla Matua said it was a great opportunity for the Kiwi Ferns, who have undergone many changes since their last world cup campaign in Australia.
"We have had a lot of changes in management and coaching staff, and about half the squad are new caps. It has a new feel about the team but we are still strong and experienced - about 10 girls are returning to the Ferns," she said.
The squad of 20 are coached by ex-Kiwi Fern Lynley Tierney-Mani, and have had one recent training camp together in preparation for the test match against England, a side largely unknown to the Kiwi Ferns.
"It is the first time England are playing on their own. They have always been Great Britain, with Scottish and Welsh representatives as well as English players, so we don't really know anything about the side. Traditionally Great Britain are strong, up there with Australia and us, and there were always a lot of English girls in the side."
The Kiwi Ferns physio, Skye Renes, lives in Whangarei and was an advocate of playing a fixture in Northland, Matua said.
"Plus, we had always wanted to bring an international game north as we know there is such a strong following of league in Northland ... After we were approached by league fans and Northland league and the committee decided to play the fixture in Whangarei. It helped having a new venue of high quality to play the test fixture at."
Showcasing the game at Toll Stadium was also a great chance to promote women's rugby league, which has seen a decline in participation in recent years, she said.
England arrived in New Zealand yesterday along with the men's England side, who are playing in this month's Four Nations Tournament.
On Tuesday, the English girls play a warm-up match against Counties Manukau Maori Women. Kicking off the action at Toll Stadium next Sunday, will be the Northern Swords facing Auckland in the final round of New Zealand Rugby League's National Competition at 2.45pm ahead of the test match which gets under way at 4.30pm.
Entry is $5 per adult, under-12s are free. Ticket sales will be available from noon, October 10 at the ticket booth next to Gate A.