Rugby World Cup 2019: All Black Sonny Bill Williams hits back at Instagram veto

All Blacks star Sonny Bill Williams has hit out at Instagram, after a picture of him and a teammate praying was removed from the social media site.

Before Saturday's World Cup game against South Africa, Williams and fellow Muslim Ofa Fuungafasi were photographed in prayer. 

Both posted the image on their Instagram accounts, but both have had it removed, after another user complained that it violated their rights.

"We've removed or disabled access to content that you posted on Instagram, because a third party reported that the content infringes or otherwise violates their rights."

But Williams used another social platform to make his protest known. 

"Hello @instagram & to all that reported this photo," Williams tweeted. "I'm wondering why this was removed from mine and @TuungafasiO pages?

"Surely a simple picture of someone expressing their gratitude for what they've been blessed with is ok?"

Williams posted the image without the photographer's permission and Instagram owner Facebook has confirmed it was removed over a copyright issue.

His religious beliefs have become particularly significant this year, given his support of the local Muslim community after the Christchurch mosque attacks in March.

He took time out from his Blues Super Rugby campaign to visit the mosques, while the All Blacks also paid their respects last month, before leaving for the Rugby World Cup in Japan.

Join us on October 2 for live updates of the All Blacks v Canada Rugby World Cup clash