As fans of sport we never want to see our favourite players leave the clubs we support. When this happens the club’s administrators tend to suffer the wrath, rather than the player, when sometimes the player deserves it more.
Today’s announcement that Australian Rugby’s favourite winger, Nick Cummins was being released from his Australian rugby contract early, was disappointing, but when when understands the circumstances behind the decision it is makes total sense and the Australian Rugby Union and the Western Force are to be applauded for allowing him to head to Japan.
Cummins is a breath of fresh air to not only rugby, but professional sport. A man who lets his personality come to the fore on and off the pitch. He has due to this become the face of Australian rugby, and never have the words “honey badger” and “meat pie” been used so much. We are sure the Australian Rollers Wheelchair Basketball team who have had the Honey badger as their mascot for many years would love him to become their honorary patron as the publicity would be a huge benefit; they defend their world title next week.
Nick Cummins has signed with Japanese team Coca Cola West Red Sparks for next season. To many the timing is very odd especially with a World Cup being held next year and that only Australian based players will be selected for Australia. Although this rule is expected to change after the World Cup, when pin up Israel Folau heads to Europe.
Cummins reasons for leaving are extremely personal. Cummins is the fourth of eight children, “So I missed out on a medal” he has said. His younger brother Joe and his younger sister Lizzie both have cystic fibrosis, and are being looked after back in rural Queensland by their single parent father, Mark. His father has been diagnosed with prostate cancer.
It would appear that Cummins, who has said his family are the most important things in his life and keep him grounded, is heading to Japan to earn some much needed money to help support his family. “A unique set of circumstances” is how his request to be released from his contract has been explained, and no one can begrudge him making such a move. It would be nice if the club, the ARU or even the sea of the blue organised a fund raiser for this special man who is such a refreshing character. It would be great to see the fans give back to him and his family for all he has given us. ( This writer would MC such an event for free).
Even if they did, the money he will earn in Japan will no doubt go a long way to helping his family moving forward. Hopefully he will be back soon, but no one should criticise him for making such a move. He should go with our blessing and we should all hope that his return is not that far away. In the meantime hats off to all for understanding the situation, and allowing common sense to prevail.