And just like that, Nick Cummins’ time in the spotlight appears to be over, for now anyway. The Wallaby and Western Force winger is setting sail for Japan, where he will take up a lucrative contract with the Coca Cola West Red Sparks in the Top League.
Cummins’ decision to leave was based primarily on the desire to take care of his family. He has seven siblings, two of which suffer from cystic fibrosis, and his father is battling prostate cancer. A season in Japan will go some way towards relieving some of the financial strains they’re under.
“He told me that in his heart he couldn’t enjoy himself when he could be doing more for the kids,” said father Mark, who as a single dad, was named the Queensland Father of the Year in 2012.
“Nick said he could kick in more by signing in Japan where he will get more time off to return to the family and also research alternative medicines,” he added.
Under Australian Rugby Union rules, Cummins won’t be available to play for the Wallabies while he’s abroad, but the Force have said that they’ll do everything in their power to get him back as soon as possible. Coach Michael Foley says the ARU have been ‘caught with their pants down’ by allowing the 26-year-old, 15-test winger to go.
“He makes big tackles for us, he makes big runs for us, he’s wholehearted. He rips in. He’s fearless in the way he plays. He’s the only winger that’s ever come back from Test duty with a sore neck, I don’t know how that happened but the reality is he runs hard at the contact.
“Off the field he’s a character, he’s very different. He fishes on his day off. He adds a lot of colour to the team and we’ll miss him,” Foley said.
Cummins has been released on compasionate grounds from the Force, and the deal in Japan is reportedly worth more than what the ARU could afford to match, so he was granted a release.
The Honey Badger scored in his final match for the Force, and provided another classic post match interview, which you can see on page two of this post, along with the statement he made regarding his departure. Below are the Top 5 Honey Badger moments from Rugby HQ.
Above is another classic Cummins post match interview, this time saying thanks to the Force and talking about the try he scored in the corner from a Sam Wykes pass. In typical Honey Badger fashion, it’s pretty difficult to understand what he’s saying.
“I’ve come across. I’ve gone Wykesy yeah, give it, give it. He goes no no no, he pushed me, he pushed me out,” he explained.
“I’m thinkin’, Wykesy’s going to throw a long ball here, how’s this gonna go? Fair dinkum, flicks it across, bloody caught it, off like a bride’s nightie, meaty, corner, celebrations.com. It’s bloody outstanding.”
Below is the statement he made to announce his departure to Japan.