Cape Town - The Crusaders have made the first significant change in their rebranding
after calls for the franchise to change its name following the
Christchurch shootings in March this year.
According to the NZ Herald website, the Crusaders announced earlier this year that they would be considering a change to their name and branding following the attacks that killed 51 people and left dozens injured, insisting the status quo is "no longer tenable".
The name was seen as insensitive by many, given its links to the military campaigns launched by Christians against Muslims during the medieval period.
The branding and pre-game mascots, which feature knights riding on horseback, waving swords and with crosses on their chests, also came under scrutiny.
Although the Crusaders name itself still stands, the 10-time Super Rugby champions have removed the knights and swords from their logo and apparel, effective the 2020 season.
The Crusaders launched an independent review earlier this year and said any major changes recommended to the franchise's name and brand would come into effect by the 2021 season.
The Crusaders completed a hat-trick of Super Rugby victories in 2019, making it a staggering 10 titles in total in the 24-year history of Super Rugby.
The next most successful teams - the Blues and Bulls - boast three titles.