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Pumas beware: aggressive Honey Badger on prowl

Baptism of fire ... Nick Cummins is set to make his Test debut in Argentina  when the Wallabies take on the Pumas in the Rugby Championship.

Baptism of fire ... Nick Cummins is set to make his Test debut in Argentina when the Wallabies take on the Pumas in the Rugby Championship. Photo: Getty Images

ROSARIO: For the Honey Badger, the choice was simple: the mines, the army or Randwick.

Nick Cummins chose the Galloping Greens, and with it began an arduous trek which, after years on the tackle bags at Wallabies training sessions has, at last, seen him make the Test team.

The man with the strangest nickname in Australian rugby was a surprise choice for the most difficult of Test debuts, against Argentina on Puma soil, being chosen ahead of Dom Shipperley on the right wing. But Cummins was chosen for his physicality; the Wallabies will be confronting a large Puma team. His unbridled enthusiasm will also be required on a day when the home team will be confrontational.

Never say die … a honey badger.

Never say die … a honey badger. Photo: Supplied

Desperate times lead to drastic selections, with the Wallabies believing that Cummins gives them something very different. He certainly provides them with character and a level of animal aggression - badass honey badger aggression, Cummins hopes.

His initiation into rugby was different. Growing up in Brisbane, a strong rugby league area, his elder brother beckoned him to Bundaberg at the age of 16 to help the local rugby club, the Buccaneers, win the grand final. At the game, a Galloping Greens scout was in the crowd, and approached Cummins to ask if he was interested in trying out for the Randwick Colts team. A few years later, he headed to Sydney.

''I decided to put my life on hold and see what came of this. It was a case of either going into the mines, the army, or Randwick. They were my three options, and I went for Randwick. It could have all been very different.''

From there, he became a member of the Australian Sevens team, where he was picked up by the Western Force in 2007. Making the Wallabies was far trickier.

''I've been holding the pads for bloody three years. I certainly know how to hold a pad. Given the amount of injuries at the moment if I hadn't got a gig, I probably would have given it up. But I'm happy that I've been persistent and resilient, and it's great to finally get there.''

As for the Honey Badger tag, how did he get to be named after a cobra-eating weasel?

''The real story is that I watch a lot of Animal Planet shows plus YouTube, and enjoy watching animals hunt each other,'' Cummins said. ''I saw the honey badger, and became fascinated. It is just so aggressive and will never say die.''

''One of the stories which inspired me is that it is documented that a honey badger killed a male lion in a one-on-one battle. What happened was that he clawed the canastas off the big fella, going the old one-two. The big fella walked around the corner and fell over. The honey badger got up, shook himself, and just trotted off. For me, that was outstanding.

''Well, I just like that aggression, and try to get into the mindset of the honey badger when going into contact during a game. There's no doubt, there's no fear.''

The Pumas have been warned. The Honey Badger is on the prowl in Rosario.

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Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 35vs FJI 11 Report Stats
TGA 10vs GEO 17 Report Stats
IRE 50vs CAN 7 Report Stats
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SAF 32vs JPN 34 Report Stats
FRA 32vs ITA 10 Report Stats
SAM 25vs USA 16 Report Stats
WAL 54vs URU 9 Report Stats
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NZL 26vs ARG 16 Report Stats
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SCO 45vs JPN 10 Report Stats
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FRA 38vs ROM 11 Report Stats
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NZL 58vs NAM 14 Report Stats
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ARG 54vs GEO 9 Report Stats
ITA 23vs CAN 18 Report Stats
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SAF 46vs SAM 6 Report Stats
ENG 25vs WAL 28 Report Stats
AUS 65vs URU 3 Report Stats
SCO 39vs USA 16 Report Stats
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 44vs ROM 10 Report Stats
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 35vs NAM 21 Report Stats
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 23vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 41vs CAN 18 Report Stats
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NZL 43vs GEO 10 Report Stats
SAM 5vs JPN 26 Report Stats
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 34vs SCO 16 Report Stats
ENG 13vs AUS 33 Report Stats
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 45vs TGA 16 Report Stats
IRE 16vs ITA 9 Report Stats
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CAN 15vs ROM 17 Report Stats
FJI 47vs URU 15 Report Stats
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 64vs USA 0 Report Stats
NAM 16vs GEO 17 Stats
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 47vs TGA 9 Report Stats
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 33vs SCO 36 Report Stats
AUS 15vs WAL 6 Report Stats
ENG 60vs URU 3 Stats
ARG 64vs NAM 19 Report Stats
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 32vs ROM 22 Report Stats
FRA 9vs IRE 24 Report Stats
USA 18vs JPN 28 Report Stats
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Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 23vs WAL 19 Stats
NZL 62vs FRA 13 Report Stats
IRE 20vs ARG 43 Report Stats
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
AUS 35vs SCO 34 Stats
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 18vs NZL 20 Stats
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ARG 15vs AUS 29 Stats
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 24vs ARG 13 Stats
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
NZL 34vs AUS 17 Stats
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Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 4 4 0 0 106 17
Wales 4 3 1 0 49 13
England 4 2 2 0 58 11
Fiji 4 1 3 0 -17 5
Uruguay 4 0 4 0 -196 0
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Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
South Africa 4 3 1 0 120 16
Scotland 4 3 1 0 43 14
Japan 4 3 1 0 -2 12
Samoa 4 1 3 0 -55 6
USA 4 0 4 0 -106 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
New Zealand 4 4 0 0 125 19
Argentina 4 3 1 0 109 15
Georgia 4 2 2 0 -70 8
Tonga 4 1 3 0 -60 6
Namibia 4 0 4 0 -104 1
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Ireland 4 4 0 0 99 18
France 4 3 1 0 57 14
Italy 4 2 2 0 -14 10
Romania 4 1 3 0 -69 4
Canada 4 0 4 0 -73 2
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