'You're absolutely wrong on this' - Aziz Al-Sa'afin calls out Duncan Garner on Crusaders' name

The AM Show social presenter Aziz Al-Sa'afin has called out host Duncan Garner over his opposition to a proposed change of the Crusaders name.

Garner is strongly against a new name and said, if it were to change, it would be a case of "white man's guilt".

Sports presenter Mark Richardson initially said he was in favour of a name change and on Thursday morning, said it needed to be seriously considered.

Al-Sa'afin said it was a rare moment of unity between him and Richardson.

"I think you're wrong on this [Duncan], I think you're absolutely wrong on this. I rarely agree with Mark [Richardson] and I found myself this morning actually agreeing.

"We can't deny that New Zealand has changed, it's changed forever. March the 15th was a horrific day for this country and we lost our innocence.

"So we're not saying that the Crusaders have to change their name, they're not even saying that. They're saying they're considering this name change and I see that as an act of sentiment."

In a press release on Wednesday, New Zealand Rugby said it was considering what to do about the name and branding, which references a Christian war on the Muslim-held Holy Land.

Fifty members of Christchurch's Muslim community were killed, when an alleged gunman opened fire inside the Deans Ave and Linwood Ave mosques on Friday, March 15.

NZ Rugby CEO Steve Tew said independent research would be done on where to go next with the Crusaders branding, but the status quo was not an option.

"Maintaining the status quo in terms of the Crusaders name, along with the current imagery of knights on horseback is, in our view, no longer tenable, because of the association with the religious Crusaders that has now been drawn," he said.

Christchurch company Research First will look into two options - keep the Crusaders name, but change the branding, or a full rebrand and name change.

Pre-game entertainment involving knights wearing Crusaders garb and riding horses around the stadium, while brandishing swords, has already been pulled from upcoming games.

"The team behind the Crusaders horses fully understand and support the decision to remove the horses from the pre-match entertainment at this time," said horsemen manager Mark Donald.

"This is an appropriate response in difficult circumstances, given the questions that have been raised about the Crusaders brand."