Francis Cummins makes Super League return as he joins Hull FC backroom staff

Drew Darbyshire
Francis Cummins Alamy

Francis Cummins has joined Hull FC's backroom staff for 2024 - Alamy

Former Great Britain and Ireland international Francis Cummins has made a return to rugby league after being appointed Hull FC’s new head of emerging talent.

The 47-year-old takes over the role from Michael Shenton, who last week became Daryl Powell’s assistant at Championship club Wakefield Trinity.

Cummins, who spent time as Willie Poching’s assistant at Wakefield in 2022, has joined Hull’s centre of excellence programme for the start of pre-season this week.

The former Great Britain, Ireland and England international will work closely alongside head of youth Pete Riding, with the pair overseeing the club’s youth programme, which features the academy and reserves – both of which Cummins will coach in 2024.

Cummins knows what it takes to break into the first team at an early age, having made his senior debut for Leeds Rhinos at the age of 16.

And to this day he still holds the record for being the youngest player to feature in a Challenge Cup final at just 17 years of age.

Cummins was a one-club player with the Rhinos, scoring 188 tries in 356 appearances between 1993 and 2005.

Following his retirement in 2005, Cummins spent four years as an assistant coach at the Rhinos working alongside current Hull FC head coach Tony Smith.

The Dewsbury-born man then left the Rhinos for Bradford Bulls in 2010, being an assistant for two years before taking on the head coaching role in 2012. He also had a brief spell in charge of Widnes Vikings in 2018.

Francis Cummins ‘really pleased’ to take up new role with Hull FC

“I’m really pleased to be taking up this role,” Cummins said.

“To be able to get the opportunity to work with the club’s next generation of talent is a really exciting one for me.

“The club have invested heavily in the junior setup and pathways over the last few years, and some fantastic groundwork has been put in place to build on.

“The club has a clear vision from the top down for making their youth programme the backbone of the club for many successful years to come, and that really grabbed me.

“It’s now for me and the rest of the staff to make sure that we push more players through to the first-team and nurture some of the region’s most talented young players.”

READ NEXT: Featherstone Rovers land released Hull FC starlet as rebuild continues at Post Office Road: ‘An explosive competitor’