Why Do Rugby Players Get Cauliflower Ears?

Cauliflower ears are a very familiar subject to rugby spectators. Although the question that sometimes comes to mind is “Why do most rugby players’ songs look like cauliflower?”

Many people believe that their ears are congenital, while others think that sports may have affected their ears.


For whatever reason, it may look like cauliflower to the players’ ears, but it is a part of every player’s life. You can easily tell by looking at these cauliflower-like ears that the player once played Rugby.

Rugby players with cauliflower ears have a higher risk of hearing loss.

What is cauliflower ear?

In rugby, players have to go through scrambling, tackling, mauling, and breakdowns. This often results in damage to their ears. And separation of the blood vessels from the connective tissue inside the ear, blood clots in the blood vessels, swelling of the ears, and the formation of cauliflower.

There is a rugby variant for people with certain disabilities called mixed wheelchair rugby which is highly unlikely cause this issue.


Why do rugby players get cauliflower ears?

Every rugby player has to go through scrambling, tackling, mauling, and breakdowns. This causes severe injury to the ear and damages and ruptures the blood vessels in the ear. This causes bleeding in the ear and becomes like cauliflower.

Repeated Trauma: Rugby players often experience repetitive blows or hits to the ear during matches and training sessions. These impacts can cause damage to the external ear, leading to blood clots, bruising, and the subsequent formation of cauliflower ears.

Friction and Shearing Forces: Scrums, tackles, and contact situations in rugby involve high levels of physical force and friction. When the ear is subjected to intense rubbing against another player’s body or the ground, it can disrupt the blood supply and result in ear deformities.

Compression of Blood Vessels and Tissue Damage: Continuous pressure on the ear, such as from being pinned against the ground or being trapped between players, can compress blood vessels and disrupt the normal flow of blood. This can lead to the accumulation of fluids and the formation of cauliflower ears.

Lack of Immediate Treatment: Failure to promptly address ear injuries, such as by draining accumulated blood or seeking medical attention, can exacerbate the condition and increase the likelihood of developing cauliflower ears.

Genetics and Individual Susceptibility: Some individuals may be genetically predisposed to developing cauliflower ears, as certain people are more prone to tissue damage and have a greater risk of blood clot formation in response to trauma.

What rugby positions get cauliflower ear?

Scrumming: While Scrumming the front row players, the opponent’s head collides with the ear and the constant friction causes the ear to break and the blood vessels in the ear to rupture.

Tackling: Moreover, while tackling, you may encounter your opponents and may hit your ears with your knees and elbows.

You can also hit opponents with your knees and elbows. Although these injuries often occur unknowingly, injuries usually occur during tackling.


Mauling: Your teammates may feel the ear rubbing against your ear while mauling. This can easily damage your or your teammate’s car.

Source: Getty Images

Breakdown: When you stand on the ball during breakdown. It is very easy to get hit in the ear because the opponent can jump on you. It is very normal for your ears to be damaged at this time.

In addition to the above four main causes, rugby players can often have ear damage. Unlawfully can hurt your ears. Your opponent may knowingly hit your ear. This will also damage your ears.

At least from the above discussion, it is clear that to be a rugby player you have to adapt to these ears to look like a cauliflower. You can assume that your ear will be damaged from time to time and it is almost impossible to cure it.

Are cauliflower ears permanent?

Cauliflower usually lasts a long time because rugby players get hurt in the ears all the time. And how many times can a player operate on his ear?

Within two days of the ear injury, you will need to have ear surgery to remove the fluid from the ear and reattach the ear veins. It may take up to three weeks for the cartilage in the ear to be reattached, but if the arms are not smuggled, the fluid in the ear will clot within four to seven days, permanently distorting the ears to look like cauliflower.

According to healthline _Cauliflower ear is permanent, but it can be treated using corrective surgery, known as otoplasty.

Often rugby players can’t keep themselves away from their careers for up to three weeks, so their ears look like cauliflower. Suppose a player is injured and has surgery once, but may be injured again in the next match. How many times will he actually have his own ear surgery? This is why most rugby players look like cauliflower. Repeated disarmament is not possible.

Classifications of cauliflower ear

Type 1: Minimal deformity

  • Type 1A: The deformity is restricted to the concha of the ear.
  • Type 1B: Deformity that extends from the antihelix to the helix of the ear.
  • Type 1C: Deformity that extends throughout the outer ears.

Type 2: Substantial deformity

  • Type 2A: The structural integrity of the ear is intact.
  • Type 2B: The poor structural integrity of the ear.

How do you prevent cauliflower ears in rugby?

The best way to avoid cauliflower ears is to wear a scrum cap or tape the ears. This will reduce ear damage and prevent the ear from becoming like cauliflower.

You should wear a good quality scrum cap; it would be best. A scrum cap can often cause pain above the ear.
Many experts believe that scrum caps cannot provide protection if too much injury occurs. Again most rugby players do not feel comfortable with scrum caps. More than 15 percent of rugby players never have a scrum cap, so they have ear injuries.

If you are a hooker in the center of each scrum and constantly inserted under the hook, you are most likely to have cauliflower-like ears.

Do I need to worry too much about cauliflower ears?

The answer is not in one word. If you are focusing on a career or you want to be a good rugby player, then your cauliflower will become an ear. If you want to save your body and not go to the front row, then any coach will do you good Don’t take it. Or you can’t establish yourself as a good player in his life. In a word, my advice is to use tape over the ears or scrum caps.

Why do rugby players cover their ears?

Rugby players have tape or scrum caps on their ears. Having a cap greatly reduces the chances of players getting an ear injury, which protects their ears.

Cauliflower Ear Long-term Side Effects:

Long-term cauliflower ear side effects include tinnitus, a higher ear infection rate, deafness, and wax formation. These side effects can occur after a long time if the ear is not treated in time.

Why are the ears of some rugby players like cauliflower despite having scrum caps?

Many rugby players are not worried about their cauliflower ears. Many of them returned to the game without full treatment after their ears were damaged. They are very focused on their career and their only goal is to do well in the game. Their ears become like this mainly due to their negligence. If you treat your ears properly and wear a scrum cap, your chances of getting your ear damaged are 90 percent lower.

Does applying ear tape reduce the chances of getting an ear injury?

Ear tape can prevent mild injury but a strong injury to the knee cannot prevent ear tape. So use caps for maximum protection of your ears.

What is the main reason for the ears to look like cauliflower?

If there is a strong injury to the outside of the ear, the earlobes will rupture and the liquid blood in the ear will coagulate in four to seven days and make the ear shaped like a cauliflower.

Mild injuries to the ear do not cause any damage to the ear. If only the ear veins rupture and bleed, and if that blood dries out before surgery, then the ear is like cauliflower.

Does it hurt if the ears are like cauliflower?

If it is like Kanpur Cup, there may be pain in the ear, and also there may be chronic wounds.

Can the ear be like cauliflower in any sport other than rugby?

In addition to rugby, boxing players’ ears are like cauliflower. Cauliflower ears can be seen in all the games where the players have to play with physical exercises and hit each other.

But not all boxers like rugby have ears like cauliflower. This is because the boxers wear soft gloves, which do not damage the ears.

Why don’t all rugby players wear earcaps?

Many rugby players do not believe that caps can protect their ears 100%. Again, many do not feel comfortable playing cap. However, the capsule reduces the risk of ear injury.

Rugby players’ ears:

During the scrum, two forwards will collide and their heads will bang together resulting in damage if the ears’ blood flow. If it isn’t treated properly, overtimes players’ ears turn weird-shaped and bigger.

Many of the players have a habit of wrapping their ears around their heads to protect them.  This is done by turning a flap of skin in front of the ear around and pinning it behind the ear with tape or surgical spirits.

If done correctly, this should not cause any pain for the player and will last for about an hour. However, if done too tight, it can cause damage to the player’s hearing by restricting blood flow to the ear.

Why are rugby players’ ears weird?

Ok, so first we need to look at ear cartilage. This is the bit that connects your ear to your head itself, and rugby players are constantly ramming into each other.

In a scrum, the shape of your cartilage is pretty important—it needs to be curved in order for you to keep your ear in place (which also helps prevent hearing damage).

So rugby players tend to have ears that are very concave because they don’t want their ears popping out. Hitting into someone wearing a helmet will absolutely split their cartilage and make their ears concave. That’s why all the photos of them with their ears stuck out look absurd!

But there’s another reason they wear helmets: they wear the pads too low on the face. Do you see them with those pads up high?

They’re protecting something called the auricle (the part of our ear which lies behind the external portion) from damage—and it gets damaged very easily in rugby as well as other contact sports. So if you wear a helmet high up you protect your auricle from injury

What is wrong with rugby players’ ears?

Many people think rugby players’ ears are weird, but they are not. Rugby players’ ears do not go funny; instead, they go interesting. This is because of the game rules which tend to involve a lot of physicality and contact resulting in Cauliflower Ears.


Whether you like it or not, you can’t change the reality of having Cauliflower Ears is almost obvious for a true rugby player. However, you can only be better equipped before the next match with top-notch scrum caps to protect your ears. And if it still happens, you better see a doctor.


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