In the wake of last week's massacre in Christchurch, calls have come in bunches for the Crusaders to change their team name.

In response, the team has delivered a consistent message that those conversations will be had, but now is not the time.

And even if the bosses at the franchise wanted to act quickly on a name change, they wouldn't be able to.

Speaking to Radio Sport's Jim Kayes, New Zealand Rugby boss Steve Tew noted that any decision on a name change for the franchise would be reached as a joint effort between New Zealand Rugby and the Crusaders.


"But if it's made, it'll be made with the right reasons and they'll have our support," Tew said.

"It will be a joint decision. Ultimately the intellectual property of the Crusaders, as it is with all five teams, is owned by New Zealand Rugby on behalf of the 26 provinces that make up our organisation."

The Crusaders have played under the moniker since their inception in 1996. Despite the gory history behind the Crusades, a series of religious wars spanning about 400 years from 1095, the team has competed under the name for 23 years without complaint.

Over that time, as Tew pointed out, the rugby team developed into a juggernaut of the sport as well as a source of light in times of need, including during the Pike River Mining disaster in 2010 and the Christchurch earthquakes in 2011 and 2012.

"We're very respectful of what the people of Christchurch and particularly the Muslim community are going through," Tew said. "Now is not the time to offer an opinion on what's right or wrong (in regards to the team's name), now is the time to respect the fact that it's good that we have a conversation at some point in time, get the right people in the room and determine whether a change is necessary.

"I don't think anybody will ever detract from the great work that's been done by the club and it's now one of the most recognisable rugby brands in the world, so the decision to change it is going to be a big one."