Nick Cummins' move caused by family's circumstances
July 5, 2014
Nick Cummins is doing whatever it takes to best support his family © Getty Images
Nick Cummins's father has revealed details of the family circumstances that led to his decision to pursue a rugby contract in Japan, explaining the move was to help his family and not to make himself rich.
Cummins has signed for Japanese Top League club Coca Cola West Red Sparks for next season after being released from his contract with Western Force and Australia on "compassionate grounds".
"He's no mercenary. He treasures playing for the Wallabies and all he is giving up is because of his family," Cummins senior told The Courier Mail from his Brisbane home. "He told me that in his heart he couldn't enjoy himself when he could be doing more for the kids."
Two of Cummins' brothers and sisters have cystic fibrosis and the father Mark, who was honoured as Queensland's Father of the Year in 2012 for his herculean parenting effort, was diagnosed with prostate cancer last year.
"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."
The Australian Rugby Union statement on his departure left a grey area on whether he could return in February and still bid for Rugby World Cup selection in 2015.
"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."
Rugby WA chief executive Mark Sinderberry said he hoped the circumstances of the "Honey Badger's" release would allow him to play with the Force again next year.
"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 returns from a neck injury for the Force's crucial clash against the Queensland Reds in Perth on Saturday night.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
The latest Week in Pictures takes in a fiery East Midlands derby and all the action from the Aviva Premiership and Top 14
The rolling maul is becoming an increasingly potent attacking weapon. Conor O'Shea looks at the difficulties of stopping it
The news of James Horwill, Adam Ashley-Cooper and Dan Carter's respective transfers will open the floodgates, writes Tom Hamilton