Cummins ready to be main man
Francis Cummins is ready to make the step up to the role of head coach after being appointed as the successor Mick Potter at Bradford Bulls.
Cummins, who was recommended for the job by Potter after he opted to return to Australia, was unveiled this morning at a press conference at Odsal hosted by new owner Omar Khan and honorary chairman Gerry Sutcliffe.
The former Leeds Rhinos winger has been given a three-year contract and, at 35, will become the youngest coach in Stobart Super League when Trent Robinson leaves Catalan Dragons at the end of next month.
The former Ireland and Great Britain international cut his coaching teeth as an assistant at Leeds before being appointed as Potter’s number two at Odsal at the start of the 2010 season.
“I wouldn’t be sat here if I didn’t think I was ready,” Cummins said. “To be honest, I’ve been ready for a couple of years.
“I had to leave Leeds to further my education. It’s been great working with Mick but I’ve always known I’m ready to have my team.
“I’m really happy with how it’s come about. We are the bottom of the hill and we need to work really hard but I know it can be done.
“We had a real tough year but it’s definitely made us as a group and it definitely helped me in my education as a coach. When you’ve got everyone working the right way, it’s amazing what you can do.
“I’m looking forward to take the next step.”
Bradford sprung a surprise by handing Cummins a three-year deal, despite being given only a 12-month probational Super League licence, but the new coach is delighted to have the chance to build a long-term future.
“It’s huge,” he added. “I need three years to set out my stall. It’s not going to happen next week, it’s going to take time, and I need to be able to say to the players I’m in for the long run.”
Cummins enjoyed a one-club career with Leeds, for whom he made 356 appearances from 1993 to 2005, and also won three caps for Great Britain before retiring at the age of 29 to go into coaching.
Along with Potter, Cummins worked without pay for the last three months of the season after being made redundant by the administrator in early July.
Sutcliffe said: “Mick was our first choice but he didn’t want to do it for honourable reasons and we had no hesitation in taking his recommendation to offer the job to Francis.
“We are delighted he has accepted our offer. He’s a man with a fantastic track record as a player but also a coaching career alongside Mick Potter and we believe he has a great opportunity to develop this club in the way we want to develop it.
“As a former sports minister, it’s great to have an English coach and hopefully that will augur well for the future of rugby league in England.”