A deadly accurate seamer who ‘kisses the surface’, Onions played a key part in Durham winning the second of their back-to-back titles in 2009, having been injured for much of the previous year.
The right-arm paceman’s career was almost over before it began due to a a double stress fracture of the shin, but he eventually broke on to the scene in 2006 and was included in England's provisional 30-man squad for the Champions Trophy.
Onions was particularly prominent three years later and, after impressing early in the season for Durham, took 5-38 against West Indies on Test debut.
He then played three games in England’s Ashes success, memorably taking two wickets in as many balls at the start of day two in the third Test at Edgbaston.
In the subsequent tour of South Africa, the paceman played a further three five-day games. Somewhat surprisingly, his greatest impact came with the bat as he survived a total of 37 balls in the first and third Tests to save both matches.
With a fruitful international career seemingly in front of him, Onions was struck down with a devastating back injury that forced him to miss the entire 2010 season.
He returned in 2011 and it was not long before he was included in England squads once again, having proven his return to full fitness with Durham.
Indeed, Onions eventually made an poignant return to the international fold, claiming 4-88 in a rain-affected draw against West Indies at Edgbaston in the 2012 Investec Test series.
That was the seamer's only England action of the summer - though he continued to knock on the door with some quite sensational performances for Durham.
He was the LV= County Championship Division One's most prolific bowler with 64 wickets at an incredible average of 14.98.
Onions' standout performance came against Nottinghamshire as he was responsible for all dismissals, claiming 9-67 and running out Luke Fletcher - an effort that doubtless helped ensure his selection in England's squad for their tour of India.