Fans outside of Auckland will finally get a chance to celebrate the Black Ferns' Rugby World Cup triumph with the team themselves with a national tour announced.
This afternoon the Black Ferns confirmed they will embark on the "Thank You Aotearoa" tour starting next week before wrapping up back in Auckland at the World School Sevens tournament on Sunday December 18.
The Black Ferns won defended the Rugby World Cup last month after beating England 34-31 in a thrilling final at a sold out Eden Park, capping a remarkable turn around for the team in less than 12 months under now-retired coach Wayne Smith.
Since then, the Black Ferns have been celebrated on multiple fronts - including a function in Auckland the day after the final, a dominant showing at the World Rugby Awards, $25,000 bonuses and a guest appearance at a Six60 concert - but have yet to officially be celebrated outside of the City of Sails.
The announced tour comes after many members of the team were celebrated in their hometowns already such as parades and events in Kaiatāia for Krystal Murray, Ōpōtiki for Luka Connor and Murupara for Natalie Delamare. Ruby Tui is set to take part in the Greymouth Santa Parade this weekend as well.
Players have also given back in Pacific communities with Maia Roos and Theresa Fitzpatrick returning to their roots in Rarotonga and Samoa respectively and taking part in public events.
Thank You Aotearoa Tour [*players to be confirmed]
Bay of Plenty
Date: Monday 5 December
Details: Rip Rugby Finals Night at Omokoroa Sports Ground, Omokoroa
Date: Tuesday 6 December
Details: A public Meet and Greet at Hamilton Old Boys Rugby Club, Hamilton
Date: Wednesday 7 December
Details: Skills and Drills at Yarrow Stadium
Date: Thursday 8 December
Details: A public Meet and Greet at The Square, Palmerston North
Date: Saturday 10 December
Time: from 4.30pm
Details: Players to make an appearance at the Six60 concert at OrangeTheory Stadium
Date: Monday 12 December
Details: A public Meet and Greet at Victoria Squad, Christchurch
Date: Tuesday 13 December
Details: Public reception at New Zealand Parliament Building
Date: Wednesday 14 December
Details: A public Meet and Greet and Fun Day at Tiwi Black Park, Ruatoki
Date: Thursday 15 December
Details: To be confirmed
Date: Friday 16 December
Details: An event to be held at the Ōtūwhare Marae
Date: Saturday 17 December
Details: A public Meet and Greet at the Grey St Food Festival, Gisborne
Date: Sunday 18 December
Details: Meet and Greet at the World Schools Sevens at Pakuranga Rugby Club