The Crusaders have not "fulfilled their obligations as guardians" of the Super Rugby Aotearoa trophy after it was damaged during celebrations, says club chief executive Colin Mansbridge.
Victory over the Highlanders on Sunday saw the Crusaders clinch their fourth successive Super Rugby title.
Mansbridge said the trophy had been dropped while being passed around, causing chips to the base.
"We're unhappy with what's happened with the trophy," he said.
He added: "By winning Super Rugby Aotearoa, we become kaitiaki [guardians] of the trophy and it's a trophy that has significance more broadly than just the club.
"We haven't fulfilled our obligations as kaitiaki as fully as we should."
The Tu Kotahi Aotearoa trophy features a carved wooden base representing an upturned Maori waka canoe. Mounted on the top is a mere pounamu - a ceremonial weapon of Maori chieftains - which was missing.
Mansbridge said the mere had been removed temporarily by a player to prevent damage.
The Crusaders have reportedly apologised to the trophy's carver and are arranging for it to be fixed.
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