Family the priority for Cummins
Family the priority for Cummins

Western Force hope winger Nick Cummins will return after granting him an early release on compassionate grounds to play in Japan next year.

Cummins has given up his World Cup dream to support his family with the move to Coca Cola West Red Spark.

He is a huge loss to the rejuvenated Force, but chief executive Mark Sinderberry said they would welcome him back.

"Certainly one of the things we will try is finding a way of keeping the door open for him to return," Sinderberry said.

"We are very keen to find a way for Nick to be part of the Western Force beyond this season. While he's a player that we'd love to hang on to we understand and respect Nick's situation."

Cummins, 26, has become increasingly supportive of his family since his single father Mark was diagnosed with incurable prostate cancer last year. He also has two siblings, Joe and Lizzy, who have cystic fibrosis and are cared for by their father.

A lucrative Japanese contract would be worth substantially more than the $300,000-$350,000 Cummins could expect to earn if he stayed in Australia.

Cummins, who has 15 Wallabies caps, tweeted that he had to put his family before his 2015 World Cup dream.

"My family is currently enduring some extremely difficult times in terms of their health and wellbeing and my time in Japan will hopefully provide me with the opportunity to give back to and provide some certainty for them during this difficult time," he said.

"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 and the move to Japan is something I have to do for them.

"I must now put my own interests in the World Cup aside."

Sinderberry said the decision was based purely on family circumstances.

"It is hugely disappointing, but it's more disappointing for Nick in terms of the situation he faces," Sinderberry said.

Cummins, who missed last week's loss to the Blues with a head injury, returns to face Queensland in tonight's must-win clash at nib Stadium.

Coach Michael Foley insisted his side was not concentrating on the bonus point.

"We are not thinking about that. Win the game first and see what happens," Foley said. "If you go into games talking about the bonus point, sometimes you underestimate the opposition."

Reds captain James Horwill said the Force would be potent with their new halves pairing of Ian Prior and Zack Holmes replacing the injured Alby Mathewson and Sias Ebersohn.

"Holmes takes the ball to the line a bit more. Sias plays the positional game with his kicking. I don't think they'll lose too much," Horwill said.

The West Australian

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