Lions tour: Anthony Watson accepts apology from All Blacks midfielder Sonny Bill Williams

  • 07/07/2017
British and Irish Lions winger Anthony Watson.
British and Irish Lions winger Anthony Watson. Photo credit: Getty Images

Sonny Bill Williams isn't a malicious player, Lions wing Anthony Watson says, confirming the All Blacks midfielder apologised to him after last weekend's shoulder charge in the second Test.

Williams was red-carded for the 25th-minute incident, subsequently receiving a four-week ban for his sending off during the All Blacks' 24-21 loss in Wellington.  

Watson told the Press Association Williams had been in touch to apologise, and had assured him there was no ill-intent in the tackle.          

"He messaged me on Twitter to say there was no intention, and I don't doubt that," Watson said.

Sonny Bill Williams was suspended for four-weeks for the shoulder charge.
Sonny Bill Williams was suspended for four-weeks for the shoulder charge. Photo credit: Getty Images

"I don't think he is a malicious player, so I don't think he intentionally led with his shoulder to hurt me or anything like that. It's just unfortunate, I guess."   

Watson said although he'd had to work through concussion protocols, he had experienced no lasting effects.   

"I remember everything," he said.          

"Obviously, it was a big tackle and I had to go off for the HIA (head injury assessment), but felt fine. I came back on and felt fine and have done all the protocols stuff, so everything has gone to plan.          

"I had to brace myself for it, I guess, but it's part and parcel of the game, so it is what it is."          

NZN