British and Irish Lions player Anthony Watson says he does not think Sonny Bill Williams is a malicious player and confirmed the New Zealand star has apologised to him following last weekend's shoulder charge incident.
While Watson prepares to run out at Eden Park on Saturday and target a Test series-clinching victory over the All Blacks, Williams will be a spectator after being hit with a four-week ban.
He was sent off for a shoulder charge to Watson's head, leaving the hosts reduced to 14 men for 55 minutes as the Lions scored a gripping 24-21 triumph in Wellington.
"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," Watson said.
"He messaged me on Twitter to say there was no intention, and I don't doubt that.
"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 now has the chance to help the Lions make history, lining up for his third successive Test as the class of 2017 look to emulate what the 1971 tourists managed and win a series in New Zealand.
"It's all about winning on Saturday," he added. "Going home as 2-1 losers, you are still a loser."
All Blacks take on the Lions on Saturday night, kicking off at 5;35pm AEST LIVE on FOX SPORTS.