Manu Tuilagi, 26, a Samoan-born UK athlete who plays for the England national rugby union team has announced that a witchdoctor in his homeland has cured him of a debilitating sports injury by exorcising three female demons from his body.
The claims—which might easily be thought of as coming out of a Monty Python sketch—were reported this week by the British media.
Tuilagi said that the injuries which have blighted him in recent years “are over” following a visit to a witch-doctor in Samoa who “exorcised a curse caused by three evil ghouls.”
He went home “upon the advice of his mother, who suggested seeing the spiritual healer after serious groin, hamstring and knee strains significantly disrupted his playing time for England since 2014.”
He made the hour-long boat ride from Samoa’s mainland to the island of Upolu from Monday to Thursday where the “deadly female spirits were banished by balming him with Fijian oil.”
“I saw the witch-doctor for two hours a day and she said she found what the illness was,” Tuilagi said on BT Sport Rugby Tonight. “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.
“Instead of beating me physically they made sure I was injured. But that is gone now and the whole body massages have blocked the spirits from me,” he added.
“In most of these cases, the girls end up taking their victims alive and will never be seen.”
“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.”
Tuilgai visited Samoa with the blessing of Leicester’s director of rugby Matt O’Connor and club physio Ed Hollis and had to be accompanied by his brother Alessana at all times throughout the “healing process.”
Tuilgai earns £400,000 (US$528,000) a year playing rugby for the Leicester Tigers in Britain, and more for playing for England.