Cult figure and fan favourite Nick Cummins made the shock call to walk away from the Wallabies in 2014 for something much more important to him than rugby … fighting the illness in his close-knit family.
Cummins is best known as the wild head taped lid, moustache and one line pearlers but the former Western Force and Wallabies winger has a much softer and caring side than his persona gives off.
Cummins grew up as one of eight siblings raised by their single dad, Mark Cummins, in Logan City, just south of Brisbane.
At a young age, two of Honey Badger’s younger siblings, Elizabeth and
Despite the strains of his early life, Cummins always dreamt of one day representing the Wallabies.
In 2005, he moved to Sydney to play for the Randwick rugby club. From there, his stock quickly rose and he was drafted into the Western Force Super Rugby Squad and then in 2012 went on to play for the Wallabies.
The following year his dad was diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer.
In 2014, Cummins announced he was walking away from the Wallabies and Australian Rugby Union and had been granted a contract release on compassionate grounds from the ARU.
Honey Badger made the tough decision to sign with the Japanese club, Coca Cola West Red Sparks. His move to Japan meant he could make more money to send back to Australia to support his Dad and younger siblings. The move would also give Cummins more time to spend with his family as the Japanese season is much shorter than Super Rugby or European Seasons.
Cummins Dad , Mick spoke with the Courier back in 2014.
“He’s no mercenary. He treasures playing for the Wallabies and all he is giving up is because of his family,”
“He told me that in his heart he couldn’t enjoy himself when he could be doing more for the kids.”
“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.”
Naturally, the ARU were very disappointed to lose the Test Quality Winger who had racked up 15 Tests before announcing his exit.
“It is very disappointing to lose a player of Nick’s calibre but after discussing the issues, we appreciate this is a decision based on what is best for him and his family at this time,” Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie said.
“He will be sorely missed by the Wallabies on and off the field.”
“Due to his extreme personal circumstances, we have reluctantly made a decision to grant Nick an early release from his contract based on compassionate grounds,”ARU boss Bill Pulver said.
“We had been working with Nick and his management team to explore ways to retain him within Australian rugby.”
Cummins left the Japanese Club in 2016 and has remained in the public eye with many TV appearances that include ‘The Australian Bachelor’ and being the Face of ‘Tradie Underwear’
Borthwick Confirms New Job Already
Steve Borthwick confirmed his departure from the England set-up yesterday and less than 24 hours his new role has been announced
It is a move that has been rumoured for some time and with Borthwick announcing his departure from the England set-up yesterday after over four years with them, many expected that he would be heading in the Tigers direction.
However, the speed at which the confirmation has come about is the only surprise, but the former England international is delighted to be given the chance to manage the Tigers after learning so much from working with Eddie Jones since 2012.
“The last four-and-a-half years working with the England team has been an incredible journey. I have worked with some brilliant players and staff. In particular, I would like to thank Eddie Jones. To have worked with one of the greatest head coaches in the world for so long has been an unbelievable experience. I’m delighted to be joining Leicester Tigers as head coach. The Tigers have such a long and successful history and are one of the greatest rugby clubs in the game. Welford Road, with the special atmosphere created by the club’s incredible supporters roaring their team forward, is a very special place to be. We must now work to build upon that great history and create our future to get this club to the top of European rugby. It is a brilliant challenge and I am excited to start working with the players and everybody associated with the team. Geordan provides a link with the club’s greatest teams and we will be working together to ensure that there are many successful days ahead for this club, and for our supporters to enjoy,” he said.
He will be welcomed into the club with open arms after being part of the Japanese national set-up that stunned the world at the 2015 Rugby World Cup, before switching to England where he has won two Six Nations titles and reached a World Cup final.
His arrival sees current head coach Geordan Murphy changes his role at the club, taking up the position of director of rugby and club chairman Peter Tom believes that the two former stars can build back a Tigers team that has struggled lately.
“The appointment of Steve Borthwick as head coach and Geordan Murphy in the role of director of rugby provides an exciting combination of leadership, expertise and experience to drive the club forward in its desire to challenge for major honours again. The club has enjoyed many of its greatest successes with a blend of the Tigers DNA alongside fresh, innovative ideas from outside, both among the players and the coaching staff, and we look forward to Geordan and Steve leading that in their respective new roles,” he said.
Both Borthwick and Murphy will be hoping to bring the Premiership side back to the top level of the game come next season, but before then they have their separate tasks, with Borthwick guiding England through the upcoming Six Nations, while Murphy attempts to take the Tigers further up the Premiership table.
England Coach Set for Departure
England have confirmed that one of their coaches will leave at the end of the season and they already have his replacement sorted
England have confirmed that assistant coach Steve Borthwick will leave his role come the end of the season.
The 57-cap former England international has been involved with head coach Eddie Jones since 2012, having previously held the role of Japan’s forwards coach.
However, in 2016 the two left for England, during which time they have picked up two Six Nations crowns and made it to the Rugby World Cup final last year, but Borthwick admits following the tournament in Japan he made the decision to call time on his current role.
“I am very proud of what we have achieved as a team since 2016, culminating in a Rugby World Cup Final last year. Having come back from Japan, spent time with my family and reflected on my time with England, I have decided to step away from the role towards the end of the season,” he said.
Speaking on his departure head coach Eddie Jones praised his assistant’s impact and confirmed he will be missed around the camp.
“I have had a great seven years with Steve. He is a loyal, hard-working and analytical coach but I understand he needs now to get out on his own following this campaign. He’s made that decision and we are really pleased for him. He created a great lineout for England and really developed the young guys. If you look at someone like Maro Itoje, he’s become a world-class lock under Steve. He has also turned our maul into a weapon for us and he’s done brilliant work co-ordinating the England programme. We will miss him greatly,” he said.
The Rugby Football Union have already announced that Jason Ryle will take on the position in November and he is delighted to have the opportunity.
“I am really excited about the opportunity to work in a world-class programme with the England national team and someone like Eddie with his experience is very appealing for me. It will be a real honour to work with some of the best coaches and so many quality England player,” he said.
Ryle is currently the assistant coach at Australian rugby league side Melbourne Storm, where he has been since 2016, but this will be a huge step up for him.
Wales to Face Japan in the Summer
Wales have confirmed that they will play Japan in the summer along with their clashes with the All Blacks
Wales have announced that they will take on Japan in the far east this summer with the venue to be confirmed in due course.
It will be Wales’ first time back to Japan since their Rugby World Cup campaign last year, where they went on to finish fourth following a semi-final loss to eventual winners South Africa and another loss to the All Blacks in the third-place play-off.
The match will take place on June 27th, ahead of the team’s trip to New Zealand where they will play two tests against the mighty All Blacks and head coach Wayne Pivac is looking forward to the recent World Cup hosts.
“Going back to Japan for Wales will be a really big fixture on the back of a really successful Rugby World Cup for Japan as hosts both on and off the field. The squad and Welsh Rugby Union made a huge impression on the country in the lead up to and during the World Cup and attracted a lot of local support so it will be great to take the squad back to Japan for the first summer test,” he said.
Wales’ neighbours England are also set for a return to Japan in the summer, with Eddie Jones’ side set for a two-test series against the Brave Blossoms.
It is a huge boost for the Japanese team, who will now get to face some top-tier nations following their incredible World Cup displays and will now have the chance to continue their progression at the top-level of the game.
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