Rugby: Witch doctor spells injury hope for England's Manu Tuilagi

England's Manu Tuilagi during the Six Nations international rugby union match between England and France in south-west London on Feb 23, 2013.
England's Manu Tuilagi during the Six Nations international rugby union match between England and France in south-west London on Feb 23, 2013.PHOTO: AFP

LONDON (AFP) - England centre Manu Tuilagi revealed on Wednesday that he consulted a witch doctor in his native Samoa in a desperate attempt to cure the long-standing injury problems that have plagued his career.

The 26-year-old Leicester battering ram said his mother had suggested he visit the healer and that his trip to Samoa came with the blessing of Leicester director of rugby Matt O'Connor and club physio Ed Hollis.

"I saw the witch doctor for two hours a day and she said she found what the illness was," the British and Irish Lions centre told BT Sport Rugby Tonight.

"She was half-Fijian and half-Samoan and found out that 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 - the whole body massages have blocked the spirits from me."

Tuilagi said that during the treatment on the island of Upolu, which can be reached by an hour-long boat ride, he was always accompanied by his brother Alex.