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Ear we go! What are cauliflower ears?
Around the Academy:

Another ear bashing for Phil Greening
Another ear bashing for Phil Greening

Getting your ears bashed is pretty much unavoidable if you're a front row forward.

But 24-times capped England hooker Phil Greening insists he's in no hurry to have his gnarled lugs fixed.

Phil Greening

It's because of rugby I've got dodgy ears.

It's what I hate most about being a rugby player!

But it's one of the hazards of the job when you play in the scrum.

The front row are the grafters of the side - so I suppose we can expect to pick up a few battle scars along the way.

Lumpy, bumpy ears like mine are often called cauliflower ears, because that's exactly what they look like!

You're always getting your ears bashed in the scrum, but I think I got mine from banging the side of my head in tackles.

Lots of other people who play contact sports such as boxers and wrestlers will develop cauliflower ears too.

What happens is your ear gets torn and bruised and a blood clot forms.

Phil Greening's ear is held together with a bit of tape.
Ear we go again!

This tears the skin away from the soft flexible material inside the ear called cartilage.

And without cartilage to keep it in shape the ear will shrivel, making it look like a cauliflower.

Some players try to avoid injury by taping their ears up or wearing headgear .

Others just decide to have their ears fixed once they've finished playing.

All this involves is a simple operation. The doctor will simply use a syringe to drain the blood away.

But I don't think I'll bother having my done. They may look strange - but I've grown quite attached to them!

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Ear we go!
The front row explained

Phil's facts
Country: England
Club side:London Wasps
Position: Hooker
Age: 27
Height: 1.80m
Weight: 102.96kg
International debut: 23 Nov 1996 against Italy
Last Test: 20 October 2001 against Ireland

Did you know?
At a leech farm near Swansea in Wales they reckon leeches can be used to suck the dried blood out of battered ears.
England prop Jason Leonard got his first cauliflower ear when he was 15

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