Former Wallaby Nick Cummins still dreams of a World Cup call-up, revealing he will make a last-ditch attempt to revive his dream by asking for a temporary release from Japan to be eligible to play for Australia.
But the Australian rugby cult hero known as the Honey Badger believes his chances of a Super Rugby comeback are slim, and says he will honour his two-year deal with the Coca Cola Red Sparks regardless of his World Cup fate.
Cummins will play for the Barbarians against the Wallabies at Twickenham on Sunday morning Australian time after his shock decision to quit Australian rugby this year to start a lucrative deal in Japan.
The winger said he would only consider a return to Super Rugby with the Western Force to repay the club for allowing him to make the move to Asia, and has held initial talks about a move back to Perth.
“Things pan out for a certain reason … I’ve had a great time in Japan with some new experiences. If there is a small chance to go back to Super Rugby next year and be eligible for the World Cup, I’d take it,” Cummins said in London.
“At the moment, the contract is in Japan for two years, but depending if the Japanese clubs can bend a little bit. It’s probably not likely … things have been spoken about but it’s not that simple.
“They’re pretty down-the-line over there and that’s fine, the contract is what it is and I’m happy to go through with it, I wouldn’t have signed it.”
There are continual calls for the ARU to relax its eligibility rules to allow overseas-based players to represent the Wallabies.
The ARU will introduce a sabbatical clause to contracts of three years or more from 2016 to give players a chance to earn more money in France or Japan without sacrificing a chance to play for Australia.
“Australia has since changed the rules on sabbaticals and maybe [my move] contributed to that, I don’t know,” Cummins said.
“It was going to change at some point and I thought maybe I could help the change speed up a bit. I’m content with my decision and happy to go through with it.”
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