BEAU Brotherson refuses to wear headgear.
No need - his ears are beyond repair.
In the modern headgear-wearing era the Redmen tight-head prop has been packing into scrums for close to a decade, which explains the flexibility in his battle-scarred auricles.
"My ears are already starting to cauliflower, so I see no use in wearing headgear," Brotherson said as he bent his left ear towards his cheekbone.
"I've got no cartilage, so I just let them keep curling up."
A former Rebels rugby league player, Brotherson took up the 15-man game after working on cattle stations out west near Narrabri and says he's never looked back.
"I started off playing league with the Rebels when I was 14, then moved out west, where rugby was a lot bigger," he said.
"I was working on a cattle station and a lot of the blokes played rugby. Then I came back to Grafton and I was going to Rebels' training and I thought no, I'll just keep driving out to the rugby grounds.
"That was in 2004 and I've been here ever since."
The likeable 30-year-old front-rower admitted he did spend a stint in the second-row last season, but because of his inability to outleap the pack in the lineout he was destined to spend the rest of his career up front.
"I did play a bit of second-row last year, but they told me I had to get back in the front row," he said yesterday.
"Apparently I just couldn't jump high enough in the lineout.
"I do enjoy playing front row, but it's still a learning curve. It's good to have someone like Dan Hayne (former Redmen prop) to help me out at training.
"The last few games I've felt pretty comfortable there. I suppose the more scrums you pack the better you get."
Like most front-rowers, Brotherson doesn't have much time for backs when they cough up the ball after the forwards have busted their guts to provide them with quality possession.
"Yeah, there's nothing worse then putting your head up out of the scrum and see the opposition backs score," he said.
"I think our backline might be a bit more handy than our forwards this season, so I better not say too much."
The Redmen are on the road again this week when they clash with Casino and will no doubt be desperate to come away with the two points.
But Brotherson said the Redmen would have a new-look engine room against the Bulls, with two players unavailable, including himself.
"Two first-grade and one second-grade front-rowers will be out because of a wedding, so we'll be down on props this week," he said.
"But it's an opportunity for Tuity (Daniel Tuite) and Chris Owen to step up."
1 Jacob Page
2 Zac Mason-Gale
3 Chris Owen
4 Nick Collie
5 Ben Robertson
6 Brad Lloyd
7 Simon Hampshire
8 Jono Speechley
9 Josh Nagle
10 Kyle Hancock
11 Luke Butler
12 Shane Denshire
13 Scott Lloyd
14 Kieran Burchell
15 Ben Stone
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