Rio would be sweet as honey for Badger

Matt Lewis Profile
by Matt Lewis

Nick Cummins channelled his inner Bear Grylls in the off-season but now the former Wallabies winger is ready to make his mark with the Australian Sevens squad in a late push to Rio.

Cummins, known by most as the Honey Badger, enjoyed his first training session with the squad in Narrabeen after some time off traveling Europe and Australia. 

"I was on a snow scooter across Lapland that stretches from Northern Norway to Russia,” he said.

“You gotta drill through the ice and wheel out dinner.

“It's minus 33 degrees, you're dressed up like a pet lizard and you're doing your best for a couple of weeks in tough conditions."

Cummins said he enjoyed taking himself entirely away from Rugby, in between a Japanese Top League season and his return to the Sevens fold.

"I think just having a breath and focusing on what the plan is (was good)," he said.

"The plan (now) is Rio and the plan is be your best, challenge yourself and come home with the chocolates.”

One of the key challenges for a 15s player transitioning to Sevens is building fitness, and while Cummins said he had been creative in keeping his fitness up while away, there was no substitute for formal training.

“You can only wrestle so many reindeer,” he said.

“I had a couple of runs at the airport on the red dirt. When they're (planes) coming in you know about it because they come in pretty quick, so you've got to dart off to the side before they clean you up.”

A lot has changed since Cummins last featured in the Australian Sevens program at the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

There’s some new faces, but also some old ones.

"A few of the boys I do know. It's good to have them around, I can talk about old times and they can point me in the right direction when I balls things up,” he said.

“Chucky (Stannard) was in the Comm Games,” he said.

“He's still as weird as ever. He's a fairly strange cat on and off the field but I back him to give 100 per cent effort for the boys, and that's what you want in the team.”

While the main goal is the Rio Olympics, Cummins hinted he’d like to stay in Australia following the end his Sevens contract.

“I have plans coming out my eye balls,” he said.

“As long as my family are all good and I want to stay close to them if I can. Australia's the important one for me, for now it's Sevens, but hopefully I can stay in Australia (long-term).”