The ‘Honey Badger’ has been released early from his ARU contract on ‘compassionate grounds’.
Australian Rugby has lost a cult figure, with the charismatic Nick Cummins signing to play in Japan next year.
Nicknamed the ‘Honey Badger’, the Western Force player has been granted an early release from his Australian Rugby Union contract to play with Top League side Coca-Cola West Red Sparks.
Western Force chief executive Mark Sinderberry said that despite the obvious disappointment of losing Cummins, he and the club understood his reasons for the 26-year-old’s departure.
“Nick has got a very unique situation and has requested a release from his contract with ourselves and the Australian Rugby Union,” he said.
“Subject to some details being worked out, that will be granted on compassionate grounds.”
Australian Rugby Union CEO Bill Pulver said Cummins’ enthusiasm, personality and on-field qualities will be missed.
“We have been working with Nick and his management team to explore ways to retain him within Australian Rugby since we were notified of his circumstances,” said Pulver.
“Nick has been an incredibly entertaining and successful player on the field for the Western Force since 2008 and the Qantas Wallabies since 2012.
“The enthusiasm he brings to our sport and unique personality that he has shared with the Australian Rugby community will be sorely missed.
“Due to his unique and extreme personal circumstances, we have reluctantly made a decision to grant Nick an early release from his current contract based on compassionate grounds.
“We wish him well for the future on and off the field and he is aware that we – and rugby fans across Australia who have embraced him as the ‘Honey Badger’ – would love to see him back in Australia in the future.”
Cummins’ move effectively rules the 15-cap winger out of the Wallabies for next year’s Rugby World Cup.