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Manu Tuilagi used an extremely unorthodox way to recover from injury

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Once touted a star of the future, injuries have meant Manu Tuilagi has suffered a torrid time over the last few years.

The England centre's playing time has been seriously hampered major problems to his knee, groin and hamstring in recent seasons.

However, Tuilagi believes his fitness issues are now in the past after adopting a rather bizarre method to recover.

Amazingly, the 26-year-old has claimed a visit to a witch-doctor in his birthplace of Samoa has been a revelation. 

The injuries which have plagued his body were banished after "three evil ghouls" were exorcised.

Upon the advice of his mother, the Leicester ace visited the healer having tried almost every other conventional method available.

The 26-year-old made the journey from the Samoan mainland to the nearby island of Upolu by boat where deadly female spirits were banished using Fijian oil. 

“I saw the witch-doctor for two hours a day and she said she found what the illness was,” Tuilagi told The Guardian.

Gloucester Rugby v Leicester Tigers - Aviva Premiership

“She massaged my whole body – all I needed was a towel and a Fijian oil.

“She was half Fijian and half Samoan and found there were three lady spirits who had married themselves on to me for the last three years. The witch-doctor told me that was why I had been injured.

"The spirits wanted me for themselves – they wanted to punish me and injuring me was the way to do it. Every time I played – bang. Now they have gone.

“But maybe when it comes out in this newspaper they will know again? This is the first time I have done it and I hope to be back playing in mid-December.”

New Zealand v England

The trip to his homeland was sanctioned by Leicester's director of rugby Matt O'Connor and club physio Ed Hollis, while he was accompanied by brother Alessana throughout the healing process.

Tuilagi added: "Hopefully when I come back and play for a long period of time, they’ll have to sack all the physios. I was always with my brother Alex. The conditions of the treatment meant I wasn’t able to go anywhere on my own.

“I wasn’t allowed to sleep in the room by myself so me and Alex set up a little camp in the living room in front of the TV. In most of these cases back home, the girls end up taking their victims alive and will never be seen.”

Leicester Tigers v Bath Rugby - Aviva Premiership

It isn't just injuries that have affected his England selection. He was sent back from a training camp by head coach Eddie Jones in August following a late night drinking session with Denny Solomana. 

But Tuilagi revealed that a conversation with Jones helped to clear up the situation.

"Eddie was disappointed but we talked and I explained my reasons and he understood," he continued.

"Mentally, it was a factor. It was frustration at not being able to do what I wanted to do on the training pitch and that came into it. We just stayed out a bit later than everyone else. That’s it. It’s unacceptable. I was in bed by 4am though.

"Whatever has happened has happened, it’s gone and I will move forward.”

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Topics:
England Rugby
Manu Tuilagi
Leicester Tigers
Aviva Premiership
Rugby Union

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