Manu Tuilagi is cueing up to have a blistering end to his career – just like World Cup legend Jonny Wilkinson

MANU TUILAGI went snooker loopy during his last injury lay-off – but now he's cueing up to have a blistering end to his career like Jonny Wilkinson.

Tuilagi's latest break and return to the England set-up comes after his own big break of 55 at his local Leicester snooker hall.

 Manu Tuilagi has been back with a bang this season

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Manu Tuilagi has been back with a bang this season
 Manu Tuilagi scored a wonder-try against Newcastle Falcons on his last run-out at Welford Road

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Manu Tuilagi scored a wonder-try against Newcastle Falcons on his last run-out at Welford Road

After busting his knee and needing an op this summer the 27-year-old fell in love with billiards.

Having swapped rugby balls and tackle bags for a cue and waistcoat, Tuilagi even went to the Crucible in May with teammate Ellis Genge to see Mark Williams win the World Championship.

He said: "I’ve always liked pool, but then I saw an interview with Ronnie O'Sullivan.

"They asked him what the difference is between pool and snooker and he said: 'It’s like playing The Open in golf versus playing crazy golf. That’s as much respect as I give to pool', which is true.

 Tuilagi is a huge fan of Ronnie O'Sullivan

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Tuilagi is a huge fan of Ronnie O'Sullivan
 Tuilagi plays snooker as much as he can during the week

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Tuilagi plays snooker as much as he can during the week
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Unbelievable day at the Snooker World Championship yesterday. Thank you @kendoherty1989 @betfred_official @worldsnookerofficial for looking after us. John Higgins to win it for me he’s on???

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"I just like the way he plays. He’s got no fear. And I think he’s the best player to ever pick up the cue. There have been a lot of good players, but pressure can get to them.

"With Ronnie, the more pressure, the better he will play. That’s what I like. Now he plays with both hands as well! It’s unbelievable."

Because of horrific knee, thigh, pec and groin problems, Tuilagi's last start for England was against the All Blacks four years ago.

But like World Cup legend Wilko, 26-capper Tuilagi wants to make up for lost time by saving his best performances for the end of his career.

 Wilko came back from horrific injuries to finish his career on a high with Toulon

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Wilko came back from horrific injuries to finish his career on a high with Toulon

The 2013 Lions hero said: "I just hope it’s going to be like that for me! I look at Jonny and his comebacks and it gives me hope.

"I also look at Mathew Tait. He had exactly the same groin injury as I had and he has come back. That gives me a lot of hope too.

"My groin injury wasn’t common. It’s an injury that most pregnant women get when they give birth! Now I never take anything for granted.

"Getting older, I do a lot to look after my body – doing stuff off the field, all the recovery – ice baths and massages and stretching."

 England boss Eddie Jones hopes Manu Tuilagi will play a big part for him this autumn

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England boss Eddie Jones hopes Manu Tuilagi will play a big part for him this autumn

Tuilagi's blistering return to form at Leicester Tigers is a huge boost for England, who badly need his fearsome frame ripping up the midfield again.

The wrecking-ball centre will meet up with his Red Rose mates tomorrow for the first time since being sent home for boozing after training in April 2017.

England rugby coach Eddie Jones says Manu Tuilagi needs to get fit, focused and stay out of the pubs

And it all comes after a dramatic road to recovery, which included a trip to a witch doctor in his native Samoa to banish three evil spirits that had haunted him.

As the new dad looks to put a spell on Worcester today, Tuilagi said: "The witch doctor said it is done and I believe it is too.

 Tuilagi and Leicester face Worcester on Sunday

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Tuilagi and Leicester face Worcester on Sunday

"I never thought about it before, but it is something back in the Islands and back home, we are very superstitious people and these things happen and we see it.

"It is hard for you guys to believe, until you see it, it is one of those things. I grew up there with my whole family and I never thought about it until my brother mentioned it.

"So I thought there was no harm in going back and trying to fix it. Mentally, I always think I will get back to where I was, no matter what.

"That is in my head. I always feel I can get back to my best."

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MANU TUILAGI went snooker loopy during his last injury lay-off – but now he's cueing up to have a blistering end to his career like Jonny Wilkinson.