Crusaders name change 'pointless', says Linwood Mosque shooting survivor

The Crusaders' mascots riding around the field on horseback.
The Crusaders' mascots riding around the field on horseback. Photo credit: Photosport.

A man who lived through the Linwood Mosque attack says he doesn't think the Crusaders name should change.

Abdul was inside the Linwood mosque in Christchurch on March 15 when a gunman entered, shooting down his friends and fellow worshippers.

He remembers the experience clearly, telling Magic Talk's Peter Williams that if the alleged shooter hadn't been chased out of the mosque, "he would have just put up the gun again, and 40 more people would have been lying down helpless".

But even though he witnessed the attack first-hand, Abdul doesn't want the Crusaders to change their name.

He acknowledges the name's reference to religious wars between Christians and Muslims in the 11th and 13th Centuries,

but he thinks the franchise shouldn't feel pressure to change it.

"It's no fault of the Canterbury Crusaders team," Abdul said.

"I'm a true supporter of the Crusaders, so I don't think it's anyone's fault. It's pointless having the debate of changing their names."

Crusaders' chief executive Colin Mansbridge says the Super Rugby team will be looking into a name change following a resurging call for change in the wake of the Christchurch attacks.

He said the Super Rugby franchise will be taking their time researching a potential name change.

On Wednesday, New Zealand Rugby chief executive Steve Tew described the imagery as "no longer tenable."