Why Do Rugby Players Tape Their Ears?



If you’ve ever watched a rugby match, you may have noticed that many players have tape around their ears. But why do they do that? What is the purpose of taping up your ears? This post will look closely at why rugby players tape their ears and what benefits it can provide.

Why Do Rugby Players Tape Their Ears?

Rugby is a tough sport. It’s a game of physicality, where players are constantly hitting each other and trying to make tackles. As a result, injuries are common. Players can help reduce the risk of getting cut by tapping their bodies. While it’s not foolproof, taping offers protection against these common rugby injuries.

1. Cauliflower Ears

Cauliflower ears are a common injury among rugby players, caused by the repeated impact of heads during scrums. The condition is characterized by a build-up of fluid and soft tissue in the ear, which can eventually lead to deformity. While the exact cause of cauliflower ears is not known, it is thought that the pressure changes that occur during scrums may play a role.

To prevent this condition, many rugby players tape their ears before games. The tape helps to support the ear and reduce the risk of injury. Some players will also wear specialized scrum caps that offer additional protection. While there is no guaranteed way to prevent cauliflower ears, taping and protective gear can help reduce the risk.

2. Lacerations

Lacerations can occur when players are tackled and their ears are caught on another player’s jersey or shoulder pads. Many rugby players tape their ears before each game to avoid this type of injury. This helps protect the ear’s delicate skin and prevents it from being ripped or torn.

3. Cuts In Player Pile-Ups

This can occur when players are tackled and their heads come into contact with another player’s shoulder or elbow. To help avoid this type of injury, many rugby players tape their ears before games.

How To Tape Your Ears

1. Start by cleaning and drying your ears. Be sure to remove any jewelry or other objects that could get in the way.

2. Cut two strips of medical tape, each about six inches long.

3. Place one strip of tape horizontally across the top of each ear, starting just behind the lobe. (You may want to ask someone else to help you with this step.)

4. Wrap the ends of the tape around the back of your head and secure them with a small piece of clear tape.

5. Place the second strip of tape vertically over the first, starting at the top of the ear and wrapping around to the back of the head. Again, secure the ends with tape.

6. You can repeat these steps if you need additional protection. Just be sure not to wrap the tape.

Tips To Avoid Injury In Rugby

1. Wear proper equipment, including everything from a mouthguard to protective gear for the knees and elbows is vital.

2. Warm up properly before each game or practice and cool down afterward. This helps to loosen muscles and reduce the likelihood of strains or pulls.

3. Be aware of the rules of the game and play fair, which not only reduces the risk of another player’s injury but also helps prevent players from accidentally injuring themselves while making a tackle or running with the ball.


While there are a variety of explanations for why rugby players tape their ears, the simple explanation is its protection from impact and injury. Considering the amount of force exerted in tackling and scrummaging, it’s not surprising that players want to minimize the risk of ear damage.