The Ranfurly Shield will reside in Invercargill over summer, the first time it has been in the deep south since their one-match reign in 1959.
Southland defended well to beat Canterbury 9-3 in Christchurch on Thursday night.
Although Canterbury dominated territory and possession, the match was level at 3-3 at half time with Southland first five Robbie Robinson kicking two more penalties in the second half.
Southland are also guaranteed a place in next weekend's Air New Zealand Cup semi-finals. Third coming into the match, they risked missing the play-offs if they lost to the competition leaders.
Canterbury were always guaranteed top qualification for the semi-finals and lacked the vigour of the visitors, whose tactics of defending stoutly and relentlessly kicking for territory in damp conditions couldn't be cracked.