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'He's a very nice bloke' - England winger forgives SBW for Lions red card

England winger Anthony Watson says he has no hard feelings towards All Black Sonny Bill Williams, following his red card-worthy tackle in the second British and Irish Lions Test two years ago.

In the second Test of the three match series back in 2017, Williams became the third All Black in history to be shown a red card, hitting Watson's head with his shoulder after losing his timing and slipping on a wet Wellington night.

Down to 14-men, the All Blacks would never regain their composure, the Lions taking a 24-21 victory to square the series. 

While some may hold grudges over the nature of a red card-worthy tackle such as Williams', Watson instead has forgiven the All Blacks midfielder, he told UK outlet The Times.

"It doesn't bother me at all," Watson said.

"His height in the tackle was probably wrong but I wouldn't expect him to go in any less than 100 per cent. He was just doing what he thought was right at the time but he apologised the day after.

"He's a very nice bloke, very down to earth and I don't hold any type of grudge against him at all. I didn't see it as the big deal that was made out — that there was a massive drama and we were going to hate each other for the rest of our lives, or anything like that."

Watson and Williams could come up against each for the first time since that tackle this weekend, with the All Blacks and England to meet in the Rugby World Cup semi-final in Yokohama on Saturday night NZT.

All Blacks star Sonny Bill Williams shoulder charges Lions winger Anthony Watson during the second Test in Wellington. Source: Photosport