Shakira Baker is an Olympian and Commonwealth Games gold medallist but when she runs on to the field in her black jersey in Hamilton this weekend, she'll have reached another career highlight.
She and her Black Ferns Sevens teammates will play their first tournament in New Zealand this weekend - the invitational Fast Four tournament, which is running alongside the men's HSBC New Zealand Sevens tournament in Hamilton on January 26 and 27.
Mount Maunganui-based Baker, who represented Waikato at a provincial level along with fellow Black Ferns Sevens teammates Stacey Waaka and Terina Te Tamaki, says the whole team is excited to be able to play at home.
Just as excited are friends and family members, Baker says, because they'll all be able to watch them perform live, and at normal times given they only ever play overseas which means time differences and screen time become major barriers for supporters.
So, it's no surprise Baker is expecting plenty of Kiwi supporters from around the country cheering them on over the weekend.
Though this weekend's competition isn't officially part of the women's world sevens series rounds, she hoped it would become a qualifying tournament in the future.
The team for this weekend's invitational tournament will come up against China, England and France and Baker says even if you have won against a team before, you never really know what to expect from any team on the day.
The squad who get the honour of playing at home will be without Commonwealth Games gold medal hero, Bay of Plenty's Kelly Brazier due to a calf injury, as well as veteran Portia Woodman but Baker says although it's unfortunate they won't be joining them on the field it does allow for growth of other players.
Veteran midfielder Niall Williams returns from injury this weekend and Manawatu's Rhiarna Ferris, who has been in the Black Ferns Sevens squad for just over a year, will potentially make her debut in the black jersey.
Baker says Ferris has worked really hard to get named in the playing squad and everyone is excited for her.
Black ferns Sevens coach Allan Bunting said there had been a real edge in how the players had been preparing for the competition and everyone was looking forward to this weekend.
"We have seen in the way the team has been training that they can't wait to play in Hamilton," Bunting said.
"Rhiarna has been knocking on the door for a while now. She is back from injury and we've seen what a hard worker she is, bringing her into the team for this tournament is another chance for us to build depth," he said.
The Black Ferns Sevens team for Hamilton:
Shakira Baker (Waikato)
Michaela Blyde (Bay of Plenty)
Gayle Broughton (Taranaki)
Rhiarna Ferris (Manawatu)
Theresa Fitzpatrick (Auckland)
Sarah Hirini (captain) (Manawatu)
Tyla Nathan-Wong (Auckland)
Alena Saili (Southland)
Terina Te Tamaki (Waikato)
Ruby Tui (Bay of Plenty)
Stacey Waaka (Waikato)
Katarina Whata-Simpkins (Wellington)
Niall Williams (Auckland)