Cummins flies flag for Force
Nick Cummins. Pic: Getty Images

Western Force winger Nick Cummins has battled his way back into the Wallabies squad for the Test series against the British and Irish Lions despite a season disrupted by injuries.

Cummins was the only Force player picked in the initial 25-man squad, not entirely surprising given the club's poor form.

Cummins, 25, has played only the last three Force games after a knee injury in round two, but his impact has been immediate.

He was a star of Australia's spring tour on debut last year, scoring tries in the wins over England and Italy.

Cummins was at the beach yesterday when the squad was announced and he heard the news from his father, Mark, in Queensland.

"I went to the beach to get away from it all and absorb some vitamin D and my old man called me," Cummins said.

"I've only been back a few games so I'm pretty lucky to have got there. I certainly wasn't banking on it but I was hoping I would get the call."

Force coach Michael Foley believes Cummins is not yet playing at his best but some more games will have him on course for a Test spot.

"I am very pleased for Nick," Foley said. "He had a disrupted start to the season, he's worked very hard since he's been back and he has had some good moments.

"He is probably still only playing at 70-80 per cent. Players need a few games to get back and we will see him get better."

Foley's immediate concern is the Highlanders in Saturday's battle of the Super Rugby cellar dwellers.

The Force have started well in several games this year before falling away. The 23-13 loss to the Sharks on Friday was the worst example this season.

The catalogue of errors that led to the Sharks' winning try was a glaring example of the problem.

A quick tap was taken from a 22m restart, a poor pass was thrown, they turned the ball over, a player rushed out of the defensive line and the Sharks scored an easy five-pointer.

Foley believes the problem is a mental one for some players, not believing they can put in an 80-minute performance.

"It is not a technical problem," he said. "They are in control, they do the first bit right but then almost take a break.

"They must not look for the easy way out. They need to be ruthless and believe that once they have wrestled the lead they can keep it.

"Some of these guys are in uncharted territory and there were some tough lessons that have to be learnt to get what we want."


The West Australian

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