1 Dec 2015

Whānau hope Nepia jersey can be seen by all

6:06 pm on 1 December 2015

George Nepia's whānau are happy one of the jerseys worn by the rugby great is to return to New Zealand.

George Nepia, pictured in 1925.

George Nepia, pictured in 1925. Photo: Wikicommons

Two All Blacks jerseys worn by the Invincibles legend were sold last week at an auction house in Wales.

One of them, which he wore in the historic test against Wales in 1924, sold for $46,000.

Nepia's grandson, also George, kept close tabs on the auction of his koro's jerseys and was even tempted to place a bid, but the price was too high.

The whānau are happy with the outcome, though, as they have found out the more valuable jersey worn by Nepia during the All Blacks 19-0 win over Wales is coming back to New Zealand.

They hope the buyer has plans to put it on public display.

"The best case scenario would be to make it available to everyone to see and enjoy," said Mr Nepia. "Hopefully that will be the scenario when it returns to New Zealand."

Director of the New Zealand Rugby Museum Stephen Berg supports that view.

"I don't know anything about the jersey coming back to New Zealand but if it does come back to New Zealand that's fantastic news. We'd really welcome it to the rugby museum."

Since the auction in Wales another George Nepia jersey has been unearthed in Canada. Not much is known about it, but currently it is not for sale.