Former England World Cup winner Ben Cohen has made a remarkable admission as to why he scored so many tries during his career.
The winger, who is second in England’s all-time try-scoring list alongside Will Greenwood with 31, has 46% hearing and said that he could not hear anybody to pass the ball to.
'I was the second highest try scorer for England and the reason is that I couldn't hear anyone to pass the ball to.'@RugbyBenCohen reveals how only having 46% hearing has impacted his life both on and off the rugby pitch. pic.twitter.com/MDOj04bG96
— Lorraine (@lorraine) July 11, 2019
Cohen played for England 57 times, and started on the left wing in the victorious 2003 World Cup final. He retired in 2011, and has since worked with the National Deaf Children’s Society’s Raising the Bar campaign, which seeks to help deaf children showcase their talents in the performing arts.
Speaking previously about his condition with British Deaf News, Cohen said: “I’m clinically Deaf. I’ve had tinnitus – ringing in my ear – my whole life, but it doesn’t both me. It’s part of my life.
I miss things in conversations. In fact I missed the entire 2003 World Rugby Cup speeches! But I’ve never let my deafness restrict me. It ended up making me one of the top rated point scorers because I never heard players calling out! That meant I never passed the ball!
“After all, rugby was an elite sport and I didn’t go to a private school but I worked extra hard and never let my disability get in the way.
“I knocked on a lot of doors and forced people to notice me. You simply have to work your ass off – there’s no other way of putting it. It’s about what you’re willing to sacrifice. I missed out on going out with my friends and other things growing up, but I did it so I could learn more and grow to be better.”
It’s probably the most disappointing selection decision of my career – Alex Lozowski.
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