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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
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 32vs JPN 34 Report Stats
FRA 32vs ITA 10 Report Stats
SAM 25vs USA 16 Report Stats
WAL 54vs URU 9 Report Stats
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 26vs ARG 16 Report Stats
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 45vs JPN 10 Report Stats
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 28vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 38vs ROM 11 Report Stats
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 58vs NAM 14 Report Stats
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 54vs GEO 9 Report Stats
ITA 23vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
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
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
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
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
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 0vs TGA 0 06:00St James' Park
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 0vs SCO 0 00:30St James' Park
AUS 0vs WAL 0 02:45Twic
ENG 0vs URU 0 06:00Manch
ARG 0vs NAM 0 22:00Leicester City Stadium
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 0vs ROM 0 00:30Sand
FRA 0vs IRE 0 02:45MilS
USA 0vs JPN 0 06:00Kholm
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 0vs RUpA 0 02:00Twic
WinC 0vs RUpD 0 06:00MilS
WinD 0vs RUpC 0 23:00MilS
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinA 0vs RUpB 0 02:00Twic
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF1 0vs WQF2 0 02:00Twic
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF3 0vs WQF4 0 03:00Twic
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
LSF1 0vs LSF2 0 07:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
WSF1 0vs WSF2 0 03:00Twic
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 3 3 0 0 97 13
Wales 3 3 0 0 58 13
England 3 1 2 0 1 6
Fiji 4 1 3 0 -17 5
Uruguay 3 0 3 0 -139 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
South Africa 4 3 1 0 120 16
Scotland 3 2 1 0 40 10
Japan 3 2 1 0 -12 8
Samoa 3 1 2 0 -52 4
USA 3 0 3 0 -96 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
New Zealand 3 3 0 0 87 14
Argentina 3 2 1 0 64 10
Georgia 4 2 2 0 -70 8
Tonga 3 1 2 0 -22 6
Namibia 3 0 3 0 -59 1
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Ireland 3 3 0 0 84 14
France 3 3 0 0 72 14
Italy 3 1 2 0 -24 5
Romania 3 1 2 0 -59 4
Canada 4 0 4 0 -73 2
View all

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