Former Leeds winger Cummins parts company with the Vikings

Francis Cummins
Francis Cummins
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Widnes have announced the departure of interim head coach Francis Cummins following their relegation from Super League.

The Vikings have also parted company with former player Eamon O’Carroll, who joined the club’s coaching staff after hanging up his boots last August.

The news was expected after Widnes lost their place in the top flight after finishing bottom of Super League and winning just one of their seven matches in the Qualifiers.

That victory over part-timers Halifax was former Leeds Rhinos winger and Bradford Bulls coach Cummins’ only success in 15 matches since he stepped into the hot seat when head coach Denis Betts was sacked at the end of May.

Widnes chief executive James Rule said: “As I have previously stated, I would like to put on record the club’s thanks to Francis Cummins.

“Francis was offered a challenging role at a difficult time when he was appointed as interim head coach and showed great bravery and commitment in stepping up into the role.

“Whilst ultimately we haven’t achieved expectations on the pitch, we are grateful for his efforts and dedication.”

Elsewhere, Warrington have signed prop forward Lama Tasi from Salford for 2019.

The Red Devils have completed the permanent signing of Australian hooker Joey Lussick, but Wigan are interested in Jackson Hastings.

The 22-year-old played in all seven of the Red Devils’ Super 8s Qualifiers after arriving with fellow countryman Jackson Hastings in August on a short-term contract from Manly and has now signed a two-year deal.

Salford coach Ian Watson said: “We are really pleased to announce the retention of Joey. He’s been a massive lift alongside Jackson.

“He gave us some real good organisation and has been pivotal to the spine’s success in the Qualifiers in achieving the top of the league and best defensive record.

“He’s been a mainstay for us after the loss of Josh Wood through injury and his ability to be able to play a quality 80 minutes has given us even more options.

“We are hoping we can build on the success on the coming season with Joey progressing in his own game.”

Lussick, young brother of Toronto prop forward Darcy, said: “I’m really happy to have put pen to paper.”

Salford are also hoping to keep hold of Hastings, who is thought to have caught the interest of Wigan, and director of rugby and operations Ian Blease says the club are working hard to complete more signings ahead of the 2019 season.