Canterbury Crusaders changing knight & sword logo after Christchurch attacks

The Canterbury Crusaders
Chief executive Colin Mansbridge said the club will undertake a "thorough brand review"

The Canterbury Crusaders are to lose their knight and sword logo following a review into the club's branding after the Christchurch mosque attacks in March, in which 51 people were killed.

Concerns were raised after the attacks about the association of the Crusaders' name with the medieval religious wars between Christians and Muslims.

The team will keep their name for at least next year's Super Rugby season.

The club said in March they were "open" to discussing a potential name change.

New Zealand Rugby (NZR) boss Steve Tew said the removal of medieval theming was an appropriate step for now.

But he added: "Any change must not be seen as a knee-jerk reaction to a single event."

The Crusaders, who have won a record nine Super Rugby titles, adopted their name 23 years ago, when rugby went professional.

Chief executive Colin Mansbridge said they were "committing to undertaking a thorough brand review" before making any more changes.

"What is clear from the research is that there are divided views on the name itself, but that people on both sides of the divide are incredibly passionate about this club and what it represents to them," he added.

Tew said:external-link "Even prior to 15 March, the Crusaders had signalled their intention to complete a brand review. While the events of 15 March have accelerated and escalated that brand review, we do not want this to be solely a response to that tragic event."

Any recommended changes are set to be announced by the end of the year, and will come into effect for the 2021 season.

Mansbridge added: "We will go into the brand review with open minds, but no matter what the outcome of that exercise is, one thing we will never seek to change or erase is our history."

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