For Louisa Gago, the joy of being part of the first Samoan rugby league team in eight years runs deeper than the jersey.
Gago will run out with the Samoan side at Mt Smart Stadium on June 22 when they take on the Kiwi Ferns ahead of the Kiwis' clash against Tonga.
Having played for the Kiwi Ferns previously, the lock forward said it was a tough choice to swap her black jersey for a blue one.
"It's taken me a while to decide to play for Samoa because I was born in New Zealand," Gago told the Herald. "But for my family and especially my dad, he's always wanted to see me play in the blue jersey so now I finally get to do that for him."
The fixture was announced for the Kiwi Ferns earlier in the year, however their opponent remained unconfirmed. Because they hadn't fielded a team since 2011, Gago wasn't confident it would be a Samoan team taking on the match.
"It's a huge opportunity for us Samoan girls to finally play for Samoa instead of just waiting for the opportunity," she said.
The Kiwi Ferns themselves weren't sure who they might face in the fixture, with fullback Apii Nicholls admitting she had assumed they would be playing against Australia.
"To be able to play against Samoa, it just makes it more exciting," she said. "To see some of the players who have played for the Kiwi Ferns now play for them makes it much more exciting and probably more challenging as well."
The women's game has been on the rise in recent times, with the inaugural NRL Women's competition running alongside the men's playoffs last year. It's given the players a platform to play at a high level on a regular basis, which Nicholls said would only prove to be a good thing as the game continues to grow.
"It's amazing," she said. "Especially for the pacific, for them to make a team, it just makes that exposure for the pacific nations to see the game as it is.
"It's really exciting to see the game growing and knowing we're going to have more opportunities to hopefully get up to where the men are."
The match will be the first on the Kiwi Ferns' schedule this year, before a date against the Jillaroos in Wollongong in October
2019 international rugby league schedule
June 22: Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland
Kiwis v Tonga (Oceania Cup Pool A)
Kiwi Ferns v Samoa
June 22: Campbelltown Stadium, Sydney
Samoa v PNG (Oceania Cup Pool B)
Fiji v Cook Islands
October 25: WIN Stadium, Wollongong
Australia v Kiwis (Oceania Cup Pool B)
Jillaroos v Kiwi Ferns
October 26: Waikato Stadium, Hamilton
Tonga v Great Britain (Lions tour)
November 2: Eden Park, Auckland
Kiwis v Great Britain first test (Lions tour)
Australia v Tonga (Oceania Cup Pool A)
Samoa v Fiji (Oceania Cup Pool B)
November 9: Christchurch Stadium
Kiwis v Great Britain second test (Lions tour)
Fiji v PNG (Oceania Cup Pool B)
November 16: National Football Stadium, Port Moresby
PNG Kumuls v Great Britain (Lions tour)
PNG Orchids v Pacific All Stars