12 October 1976 |
Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, England
|Position||Fullback, Wing, Centre|
|As of 15 June 2014
Source: Rugby League Project
Francis Cummins (born 12 October 1976 in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire) is an English professional rugby league coach and former player. He was most recently the head coach of Super League team Bradford Bulls from September 2012 until July 2014. A Great Britain and England national representative winger, Cummins also played for Ireland at fullback and played his entire professional career with the Leeds Rhinos, with whom he won the 1999 Challenge Cup Final.
Francis grew up in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire and was the captain of both St. John Fisher's school team (1988–93) which were regular finalists in the Yorkshire Cup, and St. John Fisher's ARLFC. St. John Fisher's school team has produced some notable English rugby league talents over the years including Francis Maloney, Ryan Sheridan, Matt Diskin, Adrian Flynn and Tommy Gallagher. His sporting heroes growing up were former Leeds star Garry Schofield and ex-Manchester United and England football captain, Bryan Robson. When playing at St. John Fisher, his preferred position was stand-off and he was also the designated goal-kicker. Francis represented England schoolboys when he was 15 years old.
Professional playing career
Cummins played for Leeds throughout his whole career between 1993–2005. Cummins has also played on several occasions for Great Britain and also Ireland at international level. He is the youngest player ever to appear in a Rugby League Challenge Cup at Wembley Stadium, London. He was aged just 17 years and 200 days when Leeds lost to Wigan in 1994, although Francis did score a memorable length-of-the-field try during the game. Francis made his début for England in 1995 against France at Gateshead when he scored a hat-trick of tries, he then played for Emerging England in 1998 against Wales. He made his Great Britain début later that year playing in the last two Tests against New Zealand.
Cummins played for Leeds Rhinos at centre in their 1998 Super League Grand Final loss to Wigan Warriors. In 1999 he gained two more caps for Great Britain in the Tri-Series against Australia and New Zealand. Unfortunately, injury struck in 2000 and Francis made the tough decision to pull out of that year's World Cup. He was later to rate this as the worst moment of his career. In 2000 Francis Cummins married Katy and has three children.
2001 saw Francis revert to playing for Ireland, making his début in France. He continued this in 2003 when he played at full back in both games for Ireland in the European Nations Cup.
Francis set a new club record for consecutive appearances for Leeds at the end of the 2003 season with a total of 178 appearances. He is the seventh highest try scorer in the history of the club with total of 188 tries at the end of 2004, making him the most prolific try scorer in the past twenty years of the club. Francis Cummins' Testimonial match at Leeds took place in 2004.
Following his retirement from playing for the Leeds Rhinos in 2005, Cummins subsequently continued the 12 year association when he became assistant coach at the Leeds Rhinos in 2006.
In 2010 Francis decided to leave Leeds and take the opportunity as the assistant coach at West Yorkshire rivals, Bradford Bulls for the upcoming season. After a two-year period as assistant coach to Mick Potter, Cummins was appointed as head coach of the Bulls in September 2012. He was sacked on 16 July 2014.
- "Leeds reward Cummins with new job". BBC News. 10 July 2006.
- Ian Laybourn (17 September 2012). "New Bradford Bulls head coach Francis Cummins is ready to work with limited resources". The Independent. Retrieved 18 September 2013.
- Bradford Bulls (16 June 2014). "Bulls Part Company With Coaching Duo". Bradford Bulls Official Website. Retrieved 16 June 2014.