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Thread: The Honey Badger claims the RUPA Medal for Excellence

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    The Honey Badger claims the RUPA Medal for Excellence

    Nick Cummins has claimed the 2013 Rugby Union Players’ Association Medal for Excellence, presented by Australian Reliance, after voted Australian Rugby’s Players’ Player for the 2013 combined domestic and international Rugby seasons.

    At the 2013 Volvo-RUPA Awards Lunch today, hosted to recognise and reward the important roles undertaken by players both on and off the field, it was Cummins who captured the top honour, in due recognition for his blistering Spring Tour form and perseverance after an injury hampered Super Rugby season.

    In winning this year’s Medal for Excellence, Cummins faired best from the 140-odd votes that were collected and becomes the fourth consecutive winner of the accolade from the west, with former Western Force teammates David Pocock (2010) and Nathan Sharpe (2011 and 2012) winning in the prior years.

    The 26-year old winger only managed six games with the Force in the 2013 Super Rugby season, but certainly made his presence felt despite his restricted number of appearances. He was a part of the Wallabies squad during the British & Irish Lions squad, however it wasn’t until the Rugby Championship and Spring Tour until he came into his own. In winning this year’s Medal for Excellence,

    Cummins was named man of the match during the Wallabies first test of the Tour against England, and backed this up with a try scoring double against Italy and a crucial score against Ireland in back to back weeks. His hard abrasive running made him a constant threat to break the line, in turn earning him the plaudits of teammates.

    Voting for the RUPA Medal for Excellence is open to all Super Rugby contracted players across the country. The Medal recognises not only the playing successes of a player, but also their contribution to the community along with their effort in furthering their education. As such, it is much more than just a ‘Best &Fairest’ award, and aims to acknowledge outstanding results achieved on and off the field.

    From 21 nominees, players were asked to vote 3, 2, and 1 for the player they felt had best met the award criteria of performance, leadership, consistency and discipline.

    Off field, the man affectionately known as the “Honey Badger” had a very busy year. The crowd favourite has participated in many Western Force community events, particularly charity work with Ronald McDonald House. First to put his hand up for appearances with kid’s charities, Nick is a bright addition to any community function.

    Now in its 13th year, the RUPA Medal for Excellence is the longest running award open to Australia’s professional athletes. In collecting the honour, Cummins becomes the first winger, and only the third back alongside George Gregan and Berrick Barnes to collect the accolade.

    In his first year in professional Rugby, the accolades continued to come for Israel Folau after he was named the 2013 RUPA Newcomer of the Year, presented by Allianz Stadium, a week after also being named the International Rugby Players Association Players’ Player International Newcomer of the Year.

    In a year in which he finished within the top ten in six Super Rugby attacking categories whilst also equalling the Wallabies all-time record for most tries scored in a season, Folau was the overwhelming choice for the honour in what has been described as the best rookie season in the game.

    This wasn’t his only award for the 24 year old on the day, after earlier being named the Volvo People’s Choice Player of the Year for 2013. For the first time in the 13 year history of the RUPA Awards, voting was turned over to the public to select who they felt was worthy of being named the player of the year. RUPA received an overwhelming response to voting, and in the end Folau claimed the prize narrowly from national team mates Quade Cooper, Michael Hooper and Scott Fardy, demonstrating how captivating his Rookie season in Rugby has been.

    In Sevens, for the first time, Awards were split across both the Men’s and Women’s squads.

    In the Men’s team, Con Foley continued a strong year which has seen him lead the side by capturing the Men’s Sevens Excellence Award, presented by BDO.

    In the Women’s voting was extremely close between the finalists and in the end, Emilee Cherry was the winner of the Women’s Sevens Excellence Award, presented by NAB Private Wealth, after a standout year of performances as part of the inaugural IRB Women’s Sevens World Series season.

    In the other honours, Melbourne Rebels back Tom Kingston claimed the Academic Achievement Award, presented by Kaplan Professional Education, while Rebels hooker Pat Leafa captured the Community Service Award, presented by SLE Worldwide.

    In 2013, Kingston continued his hard work and commitment to his studies, transferring from a Bachelor of Commerce to a double degree in Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Laws. Since entering professional rugby in 2011, Tom has maintained an ongoing full-time study workload and a distinction average.

    In his first year with the Rebels, Pat Leafa supported many charities including Mission Australia, Bridging Worx and Youth Support Advocacy. Throughout 2013 Pat committed an astounding 94 hours in the community across schools, clubs and charity partners, highlighted by an end of season trip to Tonga with teammate Eddie Aholelei to donate rugby gear and run coaching clinics for schools and clubs.

    http://www.westernforce.com.au/NewsE...7/Default.aspx

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    “Everyone knows whether it’s rugby, politics or whatever, front-rowers should rule the world, so to have a hooker at the helm makes sense,” Nathan Charles Western Force & Wallabies Hooker.

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    That's great! Well done Nick

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    Champion prop53's Avatar
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    Well deserved Nick

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    Interesting that he gets this after playing only half a season. It shows how good a selector Robbie Deans was!

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    C'mon the

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    Veteran Contributor hertryk's Avatar
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    After not picking Sir Nathan for the semi's against the Abs at the world cup..Mr Deans went down down down IMveryHO as a selector.. !!

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    Would have like to see Hooper awarded something for going to war every week. But cannot argue with the players, Nick Cummins rocked the show.
    Posted via Mobile Device

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    I can't wait to hear his acceptance speech! Has anyone head it yet?

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    May the FORCE be with you!

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    Quote Originally Posted by SNOB View Post
    I can't wait to hear his acceptance speech! Has anyone head it yet?
    He didnt go.

    Cummins puts blood before glory

    Western Force winger Nick Cummins kept a long-standing promise and put family first after being told he had won the prestigious Rugby Union Players' Association Medal for Excellence.

    Cummins was voted Australian rugby's players' player for 2013 for his blistering Wallabies Spring tour form, his charity work, particularly with Cystic Fibrosis Australia, the Cancer Council and Ronald McDonald House, and his perseverance after an injury-plagued Super Rugby season.

    The award was accepted yesterday by his father Mark because Cummins was driving to Brisbane to fulfil a long-standing promise and give his youngest brother Joe, 17, who has cystic fibrosis, his car as a Christmas present.

    In typical Cummins style he did not ring his father until Tuesday.

    "He rang me and said there was a free feed on in Sydney if I was keen. That's exactly what he said," Mark Cummins said.

    "He would love to have been there. It is a pinnacle of his career but he had made the promise to Joe. That's the way he is.

    "I mentioned at the presentation how proud Nick was to receive the medal, proud that it was a vote by his peers that he knocks heads with, and you can't get better than that.

    "Nick also does a lot of work in the background that nobody really hears about."

    The self-titled "honey badger" is a firm Force favourite and while injury restricted him to just six games in the 2013 Super season, he went on to star on the Wallabies' European tour.

    He is the fourth consecutive Force player to win the award following former teammates Nathan Sharpe in 2012 and 2011 and David Pocock in 2010. Sharpe also won it in 2002 and 2005 while former Force hooker Brendan Cannon took out the 2003 medal.

    All Australia's Super Rugby players vote on the honour.

    Michael Hooper, favourite to add the award to his John Eales Medal and NSW and Australian Super Rugby player of the year awards, Israel Folau and Wallabies playmaker Christian Leali'ifano were the other finalists.

    Folau was named RUPA's Newcomer of the Year and the People's Choice Player of the Year.

    ·WA players Kellie Gibson and Alison Kimberley have been chosen for the Australian women seven's training squad for next year's Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China.

    "Nick also does a lot of work in the background that nobody really hears about."" *Mark Cummins *on his son's charity work

    http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/spo...-before-glory/

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    “Everyone knows whether it’s rugby, politics or whatever, front-rowers should rule the world, so to have a hooker at the helm makes sense,” Nathan Charles Western Force & Wallabies Hooker.

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    Veteran SNOB's Avatar
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    Thanks Gaffa. Good on yer HB!

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    May the FORCE be with you!

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    Veteran Contributor hertryk's Avatar
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    What an asset to our team and the Wallabies..

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    Senior Player Timbo's Avatar
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    It's a mark of the man! That is the sort of standard that will make the Force the club it deserves to be. May be old-fashioned but - honour before glory!

    Well done HB

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