Name controversy: Crusaders were originally meant to have different moniker

The Crusaders have become a brand that represents Cantabrians' spirit. However, after the Christchurch mosque attacks the name and brand is now in question.

This has led many to ask why, and where, the name comes from.

Originally the team was going to be called the Canterbury Plainsmen.

Instead they settled on the Crusaders - referencing the crusading spirit of Canterbury's footy.

But rewind a thousand years and being a Crusader meant something else entirely.

The Crusades were a series of religious wars between Christians and Muslims over holy sites considered sacred by both groups.

In all, there were eight major Crusade expeditions between 1096 and 1291.

While no immediate decision has been made by the Crusaders as to the potential future of their name, Crusaders CEO Colin Mansbridge says that discussions will be had in due course.

"There's a lot of emotion going around in terms of conversation at the moment," he said. 

"We've heard it, we've heard the feedback, and we do want to have a conversation about it."