Australia
Honey Badger joins Aussie quest for Olympic Sevens glory
ESPN staff
January 12, 2016
© Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

Australia have boosted their Sevens squad with the signing of 15-Test Wallabies flyer and cult hero Nick Cummins.

The former Western Force winger has followed the lead of fellow 15s recruits Henry Speight and Pat McCutcheon in signing on for a crack at the Rio di Janeiro Olympic Games.

Cummins, like McCutcheon, does have international experience in the shorter form having represented Australia on eight occasions during the HSBC Sevens World Series.

He was also a member of the squad that won a silver medal at the Delhi Commonwealth Games in 2010.

"I'm keen as mustard to get this opportunity to play Sevens again," Cummins said via an Australian Rugby Union media release. "She's a big year, we all know why.

"To make the team, you've got to get on the burst and perform - and that's what I intend on doing."

Currently completing the second year of his deal with Japanese Top League club Coca-Cola West Reds Sparks, Cummins will return to Australia and begin training with the wider Sevens squad in March.

He will then have four tournaments to impress new coach Andy Friend ahead of rugby's return to the Olympics in August.

"Conversations between Nick and his management and the ARU have been ongoing for a while now but we're delighted to be able to bring him into the squad," Friend said.

"He'll bring a wealth of knowledge into the squad and his previous experience in Sevens will stand him in good stead.

"The fact he has signed for a large chunk of the Sevens World Series once he has fulfilled his obligations in Japan underlines his commitment to helping the team succeed in what is a huge year for Sevens in 2016."

While Cummins return will come too late for an appearance at the inaugural Sydney Sevens, organisers are hoping superstar code-hopper Sonny Bill Williams will be included in New Zealand's squad for the Allianz Stadium tournament.

Williams is expected to make his national Sevens debut at the Wellington leg a week earlier while there has also been speculation about a possible switch for Quade Cooper.

Those odds appear to have lengthened however with Toulon owner Mourad Boudjellal blasting Cooper, along with fellow international recruits Ma'a Nonu and Tom Taylor, following the European champions' mixed start to the season.

The ARU has previously revealed its desire to sign Cooper on a short-term Sevens contract, but any potential deal would require Boudjellal and Toulon to agree to a short-term release.

© ESPN staff

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