A 1905 All Blacks jersey has sold to a consortium of New Zealand bidders for $89,000 in Cardiff.

Fullback Hubert Sydney "Jum" Turtill earned his solitary cap in the garment, against Australia at Tahuna Park in Dunedin. New Zealand won 14-3 in heavy rain.

Turtill would later play on the All Golds tour of England in 1907 in the code format which was to become rugby league.

He was one of 13 All Blacks to die in the First World War. Turtill was stationed in France on the Western Front but lost his life on April 9, 1918, aged 38.

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Greg Dyer, an agent for CSM sports and entertainment, managed the bid via phone from a wedding last week.

The consortium is understood to include some of Turtill's fellow All Blacks from a more recent vintage. They are expected to reveal themselves when the jersey returns home.

The shirt has an embroidered fern badge and the iconic stitched canvas quilt overlaid to the upper section, complete with original drawstring. Photo / Supplied
The shirt has an embroidered fern badge and the iconic stitched canvas quilt overlaid to the upper section, complete with original drawstring. Photo / Supplied

Dyer won the auction against a 300-strong audience, 32 online bidders and 11 others who, like him, were on the welded to their phones as the price escalated.

"It's a bit of a nerve-racking thing to go through, especially when you're spending that amount of money on a rugby jersey," Dyer says.

"Those final moments were pretty hard to stomach but once the hammer came down, and I knew we were successful, man, it was a massive relief."

The champagne was flowing among the consortium as a result, but attention has turned to how the rugby taonga will be revered.

"It'll be going on display," Dyer says.

"The public will have a chance to have a look at this piece of New Zealand rugby history.

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"There are certainly plans for it to be put in an exhibition, perhaps at some rugby institution."

Originally estimates thought the final investment might be in the bracket of $55,000 to $75,000.

Jum was considered by the English sporting press as an artist at fullback, one of the great pioneers in the position. Photo / Supplied
Jum was considered by the English sporting press as an artist at fullback, one of the great pioneers in the position. Photo / Supplied

Dyer says they were willing to pay over the odds for what is literally part of New Zealand rugby's historical fabric.

"It's not often you get the opportunity to bring home to New Zealand, a massive piece of our rugby culture and history.

"We weren't going to baulk at paying an extra couple of thousand bucks."

Born in London in 1880, Turtill moved to New Zealand as a child with his family and settled in Christchurch, where he fell in love with rugby and also excelled in swimming, and shooting.

The "Jum" moniker was short for "Jumbo", because he was a big unit as a child.

After the All Golds tour Turtill married Mabel and worked as a sheet metal worker.

The next year he lost his job but signed to play league at St Helens in Lancashire. Turtill also set himself up as a tobacconist, before moving to work as a publican before war broke out and he joined the Royal Engineers. He was survived by three sons.

The jersey vendor was Turtill's great-great grandson.