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Thursday 18 September 2014

'Honey Badger' Nick Cummins will miss World Cup after making Japan move for his family

Published 04/07/2014 | 09:36

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Ireland's Tommy Bowe (R) challenges Australia's Nick Cummins (L) in their International rugby union match at Aviva stadium in Dublin November 16, 2013.  REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton (IRELAND  - Tags: SPORT RUGBY)
Nick Cummins (L) in action against Tommy Bowe last November

Australia winger Nick Cummins has foregone a chance to play in next year's World Cup, after signing to play rugby in Japan from next year.

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The 26-year-old Cummins has been granted a release from his contracts with the Australian Rugby Union and the Western Force to join the Coca Cola West Red Sparks for the next Japanese season.

Western Force chief executive Mark Sinderberry said Cummins was granted a release on compassionate grounds.

"My family is currently enduring some extremely difficult times in terms of their health and wellbeing," Cummins wrote in a statement on Friday.

"My time in Japan will hopefully provide me with the opportunity to give back to and provide some certainty for my family.

"It was a difficult decision to make in the context of a Rugby World Cup next year, but the health and wellbeing of my family is paramount.

"I now must put my own interests in the world cup aside."

It's a massive blow to Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie and his team but the coach was fully behind his decision.

"It is very disappointing to lose a player of Nick's calibre, but we appreciate this is a decision based on what is best for him and his family," he said.

Cummins, known as the Honey Badger, played 15 tests for Australia including all three tests against France in June.

One of Cummins' international tries came against Ireland last November when the Wallabies beat us 32-15 at the Aviva.

He was also one of the six Wallabies players suspended by Ewen McKenzie for the meeting with Scotland after a booze binge in Dublin prior to the Ireland game.

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