Super Rugby 2019: Crusaders to keep name for 2020 season

New Zealand Rugby chairman Brent Impey has confirmed the Crusaders will not be changing their name in 2020, but won't rule it out in the future.

Following the devastating attacks on two Christchurch mosques which left 51 people dead, there has been plenty of debate around the Crusaders' name due to its history with Muslims in past centuries.

The Crusades were a series of Catholic Church-backed conflicts between Christian soldiers (Crusaders) and Muslims in the Mediterranean region, beginning in the 11th century.

But Impey told Newstalk ZB a name change won't be happening for the 2020 season.

"The reality is that Adidas have got to make jerseys, there's merchandising and that sort of stuff," Impey said.

"You can't just change the name of a professional team when there are existing contracts."

But Impey didn't rule out a name change in the near future.

"So definitely not. There's no intention and never has been any intention that the Crusaders' name would change in 2020.

"The process regarding the Crusaders' name is set up, there's a sub-committee of the New Zealand board working with the Crusaders board, to see which of the two options will be chosen - either a rebranded Crusaders' name or a new name. There's a process underway to do that, we don't need to rush it.

"But they will be the Crusaders in 2020."

Since the shootings, the sword-wielding knights at Christchurch Stadium have been scrapped.

NZ Rugby and the Crusaders have engaged with an independent research company, Research First, to seek feedback and provide recommendations on the Crusaders' team name and brand.


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