Vaimoana Tapaleao is the New Zealand Herald's Pacific Affairs and People reporter.

All Blacks for sale

The All Blacks sign was displayed on the Miramar hillside throughout the Rugby World Cup. Photo / Mark Mitchell
The All Blacks sign was displayed on the Miramar hillside throughout the Rugby World Cup. Photo / Mark Mitchell

Calling all die-hard All Blacks fans. This could be the chance to show your ultimate devotion to the world's rugby champions.

Wellington International Airport is auctioning off its huge All Blacks sign that stood on the Miramar hillside during the Rugby World Cup last year.

The auction - on Trade Me - has already drawn in more than 15,000 views and several serious bids.

The auction reads: "Gather your mates, colleagues, organisation, business and family to make a bid for the champions' giant sign.

"If your backyard isn't big enough you could donate it to your school, local rugby club, farm roadside or ship it over to your Aussie mates."

All funds raised will go to Mary Potter Hospice in Wellington.

At 6pm last night the bid to beat was $725. Those interested include Calendar Girls Wellington, which made a bid of $620.

Airport spokeswoman Kat Linlott said the auction had drawn lots of attention and there were more than 200 people watching it on the site.

"We think they're just waiting for the right time to bid. There's been lots of interest."

Ms Linlott said the sign had been put up during the first few weeks of the tournament and was taken down last week.

It is to be replaced by a new sign - Wellington - with the last three letters styled as if they are being blown away.

All Blacks manager Darren Shand said the original sign had been a great show of support for the team during the tournament.

"It was a very cool gesture, was very much appreciated by the team and overseas fans flying in for the Wellington test matches were left in no doubt which team Wellington was supporting," he said.

He said the funds raised were going to a fantastic cause.

Spokesman Graham Ford said they were thankful for the gesture and the funds raised would be greatly received by staff, but particularly patients and their families.

"Money raised from the auction will help provide medicine and medical care for those most at need and support for their families."

The auction closes at 11am on Friday.

- NZ Herald

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