12 Jul 2014

Honey Badger leaves big hole

1:13 pm on 12 July 2014

Cult hero winger Nick Cummins has left Australian rugby, sauntering into the Canberra night with a carton of beer and leaving his coach to lament his loss to the Perth-based Western Force and the game in general.

Cummins garnered a cult following in Super Rugby with his flowing blonde locks held in place by 1970s-style thick white tape and a ready supply of quips to put the bland offerings of his colleagues to shame.

The 26-year-old was released from his contract for personal reasons and will take a lucrative opportunity to play in Japan, a move that Force coach Michael Foley felt could have been avoided if the Australian Rugby Union had opened their chequebook.

Foley says Australian rugby got caught with its pants down letting him go to Japan, and it'ss something they have to think really hard about.

The Force's hopes of making the playoffs ended with the 47-25 loss to the ACT Brumbies.

Few have questioned the decision by Cummins, who gave himself the nickname 'Honey Badger' after seeing a documentary on the animal and being impressed by its ferocity and toughness.

The 15-Test winger says his ailing family members are behind the move, implying his earning power in Japan will better allow him to take care of them.

Two of his seven siblings suffer from cystic fibrosis and his father is battling cancer.