1. ITV Report

Former rugby star Ben Cohen opens up about his struggles with hearing loss

Ben Cohen. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Former Northampton Saints rugby star Ben Cohen has revealed how his hearing problems were so bad that he sometimes couldn't hear his fellow teammates on the pitch.

The 40-year-old had a glittering career in the sport despite suffering from hearing loss and tinnitus and is still England's second-highest try scorer of all-time.

His proudest moment came in 2003 when he helped England lift the Rugby World Cup for the first time.

Ben Cohen helped England win the World Cup in 2003. Credit: PA

His achievements in rugby are even more remarkable when you consider that he only has 46% hearing and is clinically deaf.

Speaking to ITV News Anglia, he explained how he had to learn to adapt his game.

"I learnt to be the loudest on the pitch and that's where I masked my problem," he said.

"I couldn't hear calls and I learnt to lip read and piece together conversations. It wasn't until towards the end of my career that I had a hearing test and it came back that I was profoundly deaf."

Cohen is now backing a new mobile network called 'Audacious' which allows people suffering from hearing loss to have clearer conversations on the phone.

Customers take a quick test online and are then sent a personalised SIM card which is tailored to the way they hear.

He said: "Audacious is doing an amazing job and I'm glad that they're going to try to make everyone's life a little bit easier so we can talk on the phone,"