LONDON • England rugby centre Manu Tuilagi has revealed that he consulted a witch doctor in his native Samoa in a desperate attempt to cure the long-term injury problems that have plagued his career.
The Leicester battering ram said his mother suggested he visit the healer after serious groin, hamstring and knee strains significantly disrupted his playing time for club and country since 2014.
He added that his trip came with the blessings 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 on Wednesday. "She massaged my whole body - all I needed was a towel and Fijian oil.
"She was half-Fijian and half-Samoan and found out that there were three lady spirits who had married themselves onto 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."
The 26-year-old 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 Newcastle Falcons wing Alesana.
AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, THE GUARDIAN