Nick Cummins has taken his Wallabies World Cup lifeline the only way he knows how.
“I always say this – I haven’t heard the fat lady sing yet,” the man known as the Honey Badger told reporters on Tuesday, at the national squad’s Sunshine Coast training base.
“The World Cup is a biggie in my own personal book and that’s something I’ve been hustling to get to.
“It comes right now to crunch time and if it is to be, it’s up to me.”
The writing appeared to be on the wall for Cummins last week, when he was one of the highest-profile ommissions from coach Michael Cheika’s original 40-man squad.
But the 27-year-old found himself back in the Australian fold after Henry Speight’s departure on compassionate grounds, and he is intent on taking his seemingly faint World Cup chance with both hands.
Cummins had an average Super Rugby season for the struggling Western Force, crossing just once in 13 appearances as he battled to find the form that made him a Wallabies mainstay out wide over the past two seasons.
He has now slipped behind Speight, Joe Tomane, Rob Horne, France-based Drew Mitchell and uncapped NSW blockbuster Taqele Naiyaravoro in Australia’s wing pecking order but is ready to make up for lost form.
“I’m here to launch. She’s pedal to the metal,” said Cummins. “There’s not a whole lot of sight-seeing getting done.
“Cheik always has a plan up his sleeve. He’s a little magician.
“He’s (Cheika) got a job he’s heavily focused on and the team is following.”
Cummins has long wanted to cross the World Cup off his sporting bucket list.
It was the reason why he sought a loan move back to the Force this year from his Japanese club Coca-Cola Red Sparks – before the Australian Rugby Union changed its eligibility rules to allow players from foreign clubs to represent the Wallabies.
That change put Mitchell back in the frame, and it would be understandable if Cummins held frustrations after the selection goalposts were shifted.
Instead, Cummins said he was more than happy to see Mitchell and fellow France-based star Matt Giteau back in green and gold.
“Bring in the old dogs, they’ve still got some fight in them,” Cummins said.
“You see Gits out there, he’s still got it.
“Back in the day six, seven years ago I was playing with him at the Force and he still has that same zing.
“Credit to him, I don’t know how he does it. He’s going to be dangerous.”