Doncaster Knights coach Francis Cummins gets nod of approval from England legend Jason Robinson

Francis Cummins, pictured in the foreground during pre-season training.
Francis Cummins, pictured in the foreground during pre-season training.

Doncaster Knights backs coach Francis Cummins clearly impressed dual-code legend Jason Robinson during his days in rugby league.

Asked to pick an England rugby league team from the players of his era for a RL website, Robinson named Cummins and Wigan’s legendary Martin Offiah as his two wingers.

Whereas Robinson eventually switched codes and went on to play a leading role in helping England win the 2003 Rugby (Union) World Cup, Cummins remained in the 13-a-side code going on to play over 350 games for Super League giants Leeds Rhinos during a one-club career.

“I had the chance to join Newcastle in about 1997/98 and I was tempted but there wasn’t the money in rugby union that there is now,” he said.

“I’d also never played the game before so it would have been a massive risk.”

Speaking of Cummins, who took over from Paul Cooke at Castle Park, Robinson recalled that he always gave him problems when he played against him.

“I’d not heard about it (the team) until somebody told me,” said Cummins.

A member of Yorkshire Carnegie’s coaching team for a few months, prior to his move to Castle Park, Cummins will be returning to Headingley with Knights this weekend.

“I’ve seen their win over Nottingham on Friday and they played some good stuff,” he said. “They try and play which will suit us because we want to play.

“Hopefully we can go there and get a result because it’s always nice to get one over your old club.

“We’ve made a good start and the team, not just the backs, is playing well.

“We’ve got three long-term injuries in the backs but with the signings we’ve made we are stronger in terms of strength-in-depth than we were last season.”