Colourful Wallabies winger Nick Cummins is making an audacious bid for Olympic selection after completing his first training session with Australia’s rugby sevens team in almost six years.
“There was a bit of black smoke but we got it done,” Cummins told AAP after surviving a gruelling two-hour workout with the Thunderbolts on Wednesday.
The “Honey Badger” is now hoping to make a bee-line for Rio in August but accepts he’s leaving his run late following his return from a playing stint in Japan.
Cummins last featured in Australia’s sevens program at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi but says he craves a comeback and shot at gold-medal glory.
“The environment that sevens breeds is awesome,” he said.
“With a smaller squad, all the boys are tight and there’s a real feeling in the squad of not wanting to let anyone down.”
Cummins is available for the last four rounds of the World Sevens Series and hopes to get a chance to impress coach Andy Friend in Hong Kong from April 8-10.
“If not Hong Kong, then definitely the round after that in Singapore,” he said.
“In Sevens, fitness is crucial and it’s going to come down to how quickly my body gets in shape.
“The last two rounds are in Paris and London and I hope to get on the burst by then.”
Cummins was encouraged by his performance in particular in some sapping interval runs to complete Wednesday’s session in Sydney.
“I didn’t finish first but I didn’t finish last,” he said.
Cummins, with 15 Test caps to his name, could well receive his big opportunity to showcase his credentials as a direct replacement for fellow Wallabies winger Henry Speight.
Speight was a member of Australia’s 12-man squad that secured the bronze medal at the Canada Sevens this month but is expected to be out of action for eight weeks and may need surgery for a bone fracture above his eye.
The Fiji-born flyer suffered the injury when he collided heads with Brumbies teammate Christian Lealiifano during his team’s Super Rugby loss to the Stormers in Cape Town on Saturday.