OTLEY have signed powerful Bradford & Bingley No 8 Tom Cummins.

The back-rower, who has spent the best part of a decade in and around the first XV at Wagon Lane, revealed that the Cross Greeners first wanted to take him a couple of seasons ago when Anthony Posa was coaching the Bees.

Cummins, 26, said: "Peter Clegg (Otley's director of rugby) approached me but the time wasn't right as Anthony had just taken over at Bradford & Bingley and they had just signed a few Tongans and I wanted to stay there and see how we did.

"Then Peter got back in touch last Christmas and I decided to join Otley."

Cummins, who can also play at flanker but prefers No 8, is a strong ball-carrier and is good at sniffing out tries inside the opposition 22.

He scored 49 tries in 122 appearances for the Bees since making his debut as a teenager but had last season truncated not only by the coronavirus but also by injury.

Cummins, who works for envelope manufacturers Cummins & Papyrus in Frizinghall, said: "I chipped an ankle bone against Morley but managed to play the whole 80 minutes as it was such an important game."

The former Woodhouse Grove pupil, who has also represented the English Independent Schools' XV, said of his move to Otley, who are now only a division above the Bees after being relegated: "I am excited but my first priority is to nail down a place in the starting XV and then hopefully help Otley to regain a place in the National League set-up.

"I am also looking forward to playing on Otley's new ground - I read about it in the Telegraph & Argus - when they move in the summer of 2022."

Cummins, who also has experience of playing in Australia and New Zealand - in Australia for the Warringah Rats in Sydney when he was 19 and four years later for Zingari Richmond in New Zealand - was given his debut by coach Ronnie Kelly at Bradford & Bingley.

"My favourite memory with the Bees was season 2015-16 when we were champions of Yorkshire Division One and only lost one game - 27-23 at Hullensians."

That put the Bees back in North One East, where they still are, and Cummins said: "I wish the Bees the very best for the future and I hope the lads have a great season in 2020-21."

Now, Cummins is intent on helping Otley - another great Yorkshire club - write another chapter in their illustrious history.