Manu Tuilagi's injuries woes are behind him, thanks to the help of an island of Upolu witch-doctor he visited last week.
Tuilagi has endured groin, hamstring and knee injuries recently. However speaking to BT Sport Rugby last night, the England centre claimed he is now cured of the baneful female evil spirits that instigated his injuries:
I saw the witch-doctor for two hours a day and she said she found what the illness was. 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.
Tuilagi was born in Samoa and made the trips to see the witch-doctor via an hour long boat journey. Throughout the healing process he was accompanied by his brother, Alessana.
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.
Tuilagi was released from the England squad last August after a late night drinking season. He was ruled out of the Autumn internationals with a knee injury. He joked that his unconventional healing method will mean bad news for their medical team.
Hopefully when I come back and play for a long period of time, they’ll have to sack all the physios.
James McCarthy, get yourself to the Island of Upolu.