28 Mar 2019

Rugby: Crusaders name change discussions already underway

8:02 am on 28 March 2019

New Zealand Rugby has already begun discussions with the Crusaders over a possible name change.

The Crusades were a series of religious and political wars between Christians and Muslims fought in the 11th and 13th centuries.

There has been debate over the appropriateness of the Crusaders name following the Christchurch mosque terror attack and the organisation has said it would review the name at some stage in the future.

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Photo: Supplied: Crusaders

New Zealand Rugby chief executive Steve Tew said it had already had discussions with the franchise, but would not put a timeframe on any possible name change.

"We're talking with them all the time ... we haven't committed to a timetable at this point in time.

"[When] there are still flags flying at halfmast, I think everyone is still respectful of the moment we are in, but we'll certainly get on with it alongside the Crusaders in due course," said Tew.

Meanwhile, the sword-wielding knights used in their pre-match entertainment are set to be dropped by the Crusaders ahead of their first home game since the Christchurch attacks.

Crusaders chief executive Colin Mansbridge told Stuff the knights on horses were "unlikely" to be used for the 6 April clash with the ACT Brumbies at Christchurch stadium.

Crusaders horsemen at the Super rugby quarter final in July 2018.

Crusaders horsemen at the Super rugby quarter final in July 2018. Photo: Photosport

"For this particular game, given it's the first game since the terrorist attack, the horses are unlikely to be there," Mansbridge said.

"It's not unequivocal yet, but they're unlikely to be there and the game will reflect the occasion."

"This game will be different than our last game.

"We want to do the right thing ... to make sure that we're doing our best to do the right thing, it's probably taking more energy than we've ever expended on a game."