Super Rugby Pacific: Crusaders send Jeff Wilson signed jersey as token of gratitude for support, will be auctioned for charity

Jeff Wilson shows off his new jersey.
Jeff Wilson shows off his new jersey. Photo credit: Supplied

The Crusaders have shown their gratitude for Jeff Wilson's unwavering faith in their abilities by sending the former All Blacks star turned pundit a token of their appreciation.

Last weekend, Wilson turned plenty of heads with his surprise vote of confidence for the then winless defending champions, claiming – despite their 0-5 start – they'll shake off their early struggles by upsetting the Chiefs to begin a run to the playoffs, citing the favorable upcoming schedule for the southerners.

That prediction was in tune with his call prior to the start of the season, when Wilson picked the Crusaders to defend their title.

Right on cue, the Crusaders then proceeded to turn the tide with their emphatic victory in Saturday's 2023 final rematch in Christchurch.

During Sunday's screening of Sky Sport's The Breakdown, Wilson was surprised with a Crusaders jersey signed by the team along with a letter from chief executive Colin Mansbridge expressing their appreciation and laying out the welcome mat.

"Thanks for the support mate, it means the world," Mansbridge wrote.

"We're hugely proud of who we are and the people we play for – including you.

We remain ambitious and focused, and words of encouragement – especially from those outside the region – makes us stronger.

"You're welcome at Rugby Park any time Goldie, the doors will always be open to legends like you."

Wilson has decided to out the jersey up for auction, with all proceeds going to Kids Can. The auction recently surpassed $300. 

"I appreciate it, I really do," said the wing, who played 77 games for the Crusaders' southern rivals, the Highlanders.

Wilson admitted he'd been greeted warmly in the Garden City, with coach Rob Penney among those showing their appreciation.

The Crusaders now have a bye week, before beginning a favourable stretch to the finish that includes fixtures four Australian sides and Moana Pasifika. They'll likely need at least four wins from their remaining eight games.

They're also due to welcome back some cavalry from injury, with Ethan Blackadder, Fergus Burke, and Christian Lio-Willie poised to return. 

The Crusaders' next match is against the Waratahs in Sydney on April 12.

You can make bid on Wilson's signed jersey here.