Sonny Bill Williams joined thousands of Muslims and fellow New Zealanders in Christchurch today, honouring the victims of last week's terror attacks.
The 33-year-old told reporters today that he was in the region to support the Muslim community and honour the 50 people killed at the two mosques last Friday.
"Moving forward, there has to be something done," said Williams.
"My message is about unity, it's about peace, it's about love - the core essence of what Islam is."
Williams praised Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern for her handling of the terror attacks and her leadership.
"My message is about how we move forward as a people," he said. "Let's lead the way as Jacinda [Arden] has, let's lead the way as Kiwis do.
"Knowledge is light. It's been beautiful - the people reaching out throughout the week - to myself and to the Muslim community.
"But it shows one thing: We don't know what Islam is. People don’t really know what Islam is. I feel like to get that light you need that knowledge.
"You need to understand what Islam is so that it can give that light which will get rid of the darkness."
Williams was relieved from his playing responsibilities with the Blues tonight in Auckland against the Highlanders to be in Christchurch.
"We need that light moving forward because we need to eradicate racism, hatred and the seeds that people sow on all levels of society.
"Whether that be in schools, whether that be in politics, whether that be on the rugby field. For me, that is my simple message."