A collection of All Blacks rugby shirts has been put up for sale by a New Zealand man, who is trying to sell it on the internet before taking the sports memorabilia to an auction house.
According to the Rotorua Daily Post, the anonymous collector has started the bidding at NZ$500,000, with the sale being handled by a friend called Bill Hedges. The intention is to entice a fan heading to the World Cup to invest in the 21 limited edition shirts; however chances are enthusiasts will opt to buy rugby jerseys currently worn by the national teams, as it is a more affordable option.
Mr Hedges commented on the news, stating: "With the World Cup it seemed like a logical time to sell. People may think it is a high price but this is a collection. Someone out there will buy it for the price." The shirts date from 1996 - 2009, with 11 of the 21 being full-sized and some of the others commemorative miniature jerseys. Speaking to the Rotorua Daily Post, the seller described how he was persuaded by his wife not to sell a replica of the All Blacks 1905 kit.
The World Cup looks set to be not just a boon for the unnamed private collector, but for the country as a whole - particularly as a Reserve Bank study reported by the Independent predicted that the showpiece competition will inject NZ$700 million into the local economy through tourist spending.