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Manu Tuilagi has admitted hiding the early stages of the groin injury that almost ended his career back in 2014.
The England centre revealed he strapped himself up in secret and played through the pain for five games, keeping the injury from Leicester’s physios and coaches.
Tuilagi was applying tape to his groin and pubic bone like a belt until he felt a “loud pop” in a European match against Ulster that left him unable to walk.
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The Samoa-born powerhouse won just two caps between 2014 and 2019 amid a catalogue of setbacks, and he even sought the services of a witch doctor to help end his injury curse.
Now fully fit and itching to flex his muscles as England inch toward the World Cup, the 28-year-old laid bare his folly in ignoring his body’s natural warning signs some five years ago.
“You just think, ‘I am never going to get injured’, even if it hurts you think, ‘I will be alright’; that is a lesson,” said Tuilagi.
“With my groin, I played five games with it being really painful. It was stupid.
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