It's been 12 years in the making but the British and Irish Lions are finally here.
The 41-strong squad touched down at Auckland airport just after midday today and were welcomed with a powhiri inside the terminal before being greeted by excited fans, some even dressed as Lions, at the arrival gate.
This year's squad has been labeled the best side assembled in recent memory and there's a genuine buzz they may finally break their 46-year hoodoo in New Zealand.
Excited fans clad in red at the gate were quick to forget what happened in 2005 when a young Daniel Carter ran circles around the British and Irish Lions that resulted in a three-nil whitewash to the All Blacks.
UK born triplets Charlie, Harry and Louis Banfield hadn't even started school back then but 17-year-old Harry Banfield is confident the Lions can turn the tables this time around.
"I believe the emphasis of how much northern hemisphere rugby has improved over the past 12 months.
"The divide between the two hemispheres is getting closer and closer, especially with Australia not doing so well, South Africa effectively falling apart and then the resurgence of England and Ireland, even Scotland. It's just getting tighter really."
On top of their three tests against the All Blacks, the Lions face all five of the New Zealand Super Rugby franchises, the Maori All Blacks and a provincial Barbarians side during their five week tour.
The 10-match schedule will be one of the toughest tests in world rugby but the New Zealand coach of the Lions, Warren Gatland, says his side is embracing the challenge.
"We know how tough it is but if we can galvanize really quickly as a team and come together as quickly as we can and get some success under our belts in the first two or three games and prepare well for a tough test series (then we'll do well) but I think we can come over here and really put ourselves well and for everyone involved I just hope it's incredibly exciting tour," Gatland said.
Team manager John Spencer was part of the 1971 Lions team that won the one and only test series against the All Blacks.
He says the 2017 Lions squad needs to understand the rugby-mad culture here in New Zealand but believes they're on the right track.
"We're bringing a very strong team here, the strongest Lions that will have ever have left our shores.
"Who wouldn't want to play against the All Blacks when they've been so successful, when they're the world champions? We think this is an incredible opportunity for our team, for our players and our support team, both as individuals and as a team," Spencer said.
And the Banford triplets agree. They reckon Warren Gatland could be the Lions' trump card.
"He knows what teams play like, he knows their style and hopefully he knows how to match it and beat it."
Meanwhile across town this morning the All Blacks unveiled their special edition jersey for the Lions tour.
Showing off his modeling skills, captain Kieran Read says its shaping up to be a good tour.
"On paper they're a great side, they've got some awesome players.
"I can't wait to see them out on the field this Saturday and moving forward over the next couple of weeks. It'll probably give us an indication of perhaps how they're going to play and what they're going to bring," Read said.
The first match of the series is between the British and Irish Lions and the provincial barbarians in Whangarei on Saturday.
The Banford triplets are looking forward to it. They've heading to five of the 10 games including two of the three All Blacks tests.