Sonny Bill Williams apologised to the photographer for not crediting him for the photo he posted on Instagram. Photo: Andrew Cornaga /

TOKYO – All Black Sonny Bill Williams has apologised to a Malaysia-based photographer for posting an image on Instagram which was later taken down by the social media platform over copyright issues.

The 34-year-old had posted the image of him offering prayers alongside fellow Muslim Ofa Tuungafasi before their 23-13 Rugby World Cup win over South Africa on Saturday, but questioned it was deleted by the photo-sharing service.

On realising that the photo was taken down because of copyright infringement and not merely for being reported by a third party, two-times World Cup winner Williams reposted the image with due credit and an apology to the photographer.

“@faiz_azizan Asalamualiakum brother, please forgive me for the misunderstanding,” Williams, who converted to Islam in 2009 and became the first Muslim player to represent the All Blacks, wrote on Instagram.

“I was sent the photo that already had your name cropped out, if I'd known before I posted I would've tagged you as you captured a beautiful moment. @instagram apologies also,” Williams said in an Instagram post.

“A little bit of Sabr (patience) goes a long way.”

New Zealand take on Canada in their second Pool B encounter in Oita on Oct. 2.