Doncaster Knights: Griffiths pleased with Cummins appointment

Francis Cummins
Francis Cummins
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Doncaster Knights have appointed former Leeds Rhinos rugby league star Francis Cummins as their new backs and skills coach.

The 39-year-old, who played international rugby league for Great Britain, England and Ireland, replaces Paul Cooke who left the club recently to return to the 13-a-side game.

The youngest player ever to play in a Challenge Cup final, Cummins was appointed assistant coach at the Leeds club after hanging up his boots.

He later joined Bradford Bulls as their No 2, taking over as head coach in 2012.

Controversially sacked by the cash-strapped Super League club in 2014, Cummins was a member of Yorkshire Carnegie’s coaching staff last season.

“Very few coaches avoid being sacked or discredited in some way during their careers,” said Knights director of rugby Clive Griffiths.

“He could have walked away from Bradford at the time but he didn’t and that shows the make-up of someone’s character in those situations.

“Former Leeds, and current Warrington boss, Tony Smith spoke very highly of Francis when I spoke to him last week and he knows his coaches.

“Francis has a knowledge of both codes and it does help and although mainly a back-three player during his rugby league career he did play in other positions so he’s got experience of playing in most back positions.

“He’s played at the top level in rugby league in internationals and Challenge Cup and Grand finals and I’m confident that he will prove an excellent addition to our coaching staff and I look forward to working with him.”

Cummins started work at Castle Park yesterday.