Sonny Bill ‘sorry’

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July 3, 2017
Sonny Bill ‘sorry’

FOUL PLAY: Sonny Bill Williams charges Watson

All Blacks centre Sonny Bill Williams has been suspended for four weeks and will miss the third and deciding Test against the British and Irish Lions at Eden Park in Auckland this week.

Williams was sent off for a dangerous shoulder charge on Lions winger Anthony Watson during the second Test, won 24-21 by the visitors to level the series at 1-1, at Wellington Regional Stadium on Saturday.

Of his ban, Williams says: “Obviously really disappointed, but happy with being able to get in there [at the hearing] and say my piece.

“They’ve come to the conclusion that it was reckless, it wasn’t intentional.

“I’ve got in contact with Anthony and I’ve apologised to him, but very disappointed that I was sent from the field and let my brothers down.”

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen called Malakai Fekitoa into the squad in place of Williams and says: “He’s disappointed, not for himself, he accepts that he’s made a mistake. He’s disappointed because he’s let the team down.

“One of the biggest mantras in our team is that the team comes first and he knows he let the team down.

“But we can’t go back and change it either. People make mistakes.

Williams was just the third All Blacks player to be sent off in a Test match, with Cyril Brownlie the first against England in 1925.

Colin Meads was also sent off in 1967 against Scotland at Murrayfield in Edinburgh.

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