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Thursday Apr 16, 2020

'It still haunts me to this day' - Former international wing recalls encounter with fearsome Alesana Tuilagi

Before Manu Tuilagi was terrorising defences across the world of rugby, his brothers had already created a legacy of leaving a trail of semi-conscious players in their wake. 

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Former Leicester Tigers and Samoa winger Alesana was one brother from the iconic family that had a long history of making the life of wingers or flyhalves, many of whom were half his size, a living hell. But while it was unfortunate for some players to encounter him, that was ultimately their job.

While very few players sought him out on a rugby pitch, particularly when the game was not even being played, former Canada winger Phil Mackenzie has shared the occasion where he thought it was a good idea to square up to Tuilagi during a Pacific Nations Cup encounter in 2015.

He recalled on Twitter: “Here’s a scary story… Once upon a time I pushed Alesana Tuilagi. He pushed me back. I pushed him again. He then looked me straight in the eyes. I thought my life was over. It still haunts me to this day. The end.”

What is most remarkable about this situation is that the former Sale Sharks winger had another go at his opponent after pushing him the first time, before the touch judge intervened.

Samoa ran out victorious in 2015, and Mackenzie survived to tell this amusing tale.

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