Ex-Tigers and Samoa winger Alesana, who won 38 Test caps (37 for the Samoans and one for Pacific Islands), was one brother from the iconic family that had a long history of making the life of wingers or fly-halves – many of whom were half his size – a living hell.
While it was unfortunate for some players to encounter him, that was ultimately their job and former Canada winger Phil Mackenzie has now shared memories of the occasion when he thought it was a good idea to square up to Tuilagi.
Toronto was the location, the Pacific Nations Cup the competition in 2015 in the lead-up to the World Cup in England which brought the curtain down on Tuilagi’s career.
Mackenzie 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 ex-Sale Sharks winger had another go at his opponent after pushing him the first time before the touch judge eventually intervened.
Samoa ran out victorious in that game, but Mackenzie survived to tell the tale even if he still breaks out in a sweat recalling it.