9 Nov 2017

Witch doctor helps England rugby player recover

11:51 am on 9 November 2017

The England rugby international Manu Tuilagi believes he's been exorcised of an injury curse caused by three evil ghosts after visiting a witch doctor in Samoa.

Tuilagi last week returned to his home country last week and his mother suggested he see a spiritual healer after groin, hamstring and knee injuries hampered his career with England and Leceister.

Tuilagi says he saw a witch doctor for two hours a day over a four day period.

"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 has told BT Sport Rugby Tonight.

Manu Tuilagi.

Manu Tuilagi. Photo: Photosport

"She massaged my whole body - all I needed was a towel and a Fijian oil.

"She ... 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!"

Tuilagi said he hoped to be back playing in mid-December.

He visited Samoa with the blessing of Leicester director of rugby Matt O'Connor and physio Ed Hollis and was accompanied by his brother Alessana throughout the healing process.

"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," he said.

"In most of these cases back home, the girls end up taking their victims alive and will never be seen.

"There are male spirits too but the witch doctor said I was too handsome!"

Tuilagi had endured a troubled time as a result of the repeated injury setbacks when sent home from an England camp in August by Eddie Jones following a late night drinking session with Denny Solomana.

"Eddie has been okay with me. He was disappointed but we talked and I explained my reasons and he understood," he said.

"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. But there is no excuse for it, it's unacceptable."