An All Blacks rugby star in New Zealand has quickly apologised after tweeting that a fellow player was a “fag”, following his team’s victory on Saturday over France.

Israel Dagg, a player for the All Blacks, who won over France 30-0 in Christchurch on Saturday, tweeted to say that Blues player Brendan O’Connor was a “fag”, and later admitted to using the “wrong choice of word”, reports ESPN.

Dagg tweeted again on Sunday from his unverified account, to say “Wrong choice of word people don’t let it ruin ya Sunday, keep smiling,” after causing controversy with the initial message.

MP Louisa Wall, who sponsored the New Zealand equal marriage bill, and who is a former New Zealand women’s rugby player, said the team had a responsibility to not use offensive language.

“They fail to recognise the responsibility they have as leaders in New Zealand society, and the influence they have on a whole generation not only of young people, but they represent all New Zealanders now,” she said, speaking to Fairfax news.

Sara Fraser, of the Queer Avengers, said: “Really it’s just indicative of the fact that although we now have marriage equality and things on the surface appear to be getting better, in actual fact they’re not.”

New Zealand in April became the first country in the Asia-Pacific to legalise equal marriage, as well as the third of the 54 Commonwealth member states, and the second of Queen Elizabeth II’s realms, as its parliament voted on Wednesday for the bill 77 to 44.

As the Parliament of New Zealand passed a bill to allow equal marriage in the country, those in attendance of the reading broke into song, once it was announced that it had passed.