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

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

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

Nick Cummins, Australia winger

Cummins said it was in the interests of his family that he could be on the move as soon as this month, after the Western Force's last game in Super Rugby.

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

"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.'' 

Impressive recent record

Known as the Honey Badger, Cummins has played 15 Tests and scored six tries for Australia, including all three Tests against France in June.

Australia coach Ewen McKenzie said the crowd-pleasing Cummins would be sorely missed by the Wallabies as he started all three of their wins over France last month.
                  
"It is very disappointing to lose a player of Nick's calibre but after discussing the issues at hand, we appreciate that this is a decision based on what is best for him and his family at this time," McKenzie said.

Source: AP