AUSTRALIA’S Nick Cummins has no regrets about turning his back on the international teammates he has to tackle at Twickenham next month.
The wing – nicknamed the Honey Badger – is one of world rugby’s most recognisable characters and lines up for the Barbarians in the Killik Cup match on November 1.
After winning 15 Test caps, Cummins was released from his Western Force and Wallabies contracts this year, moving to Japan to provide more support for his sick father, brother and sister.
But he is looking forward to taking on his former teammates at Twickenham, where he scored his first Test try in the 20-14 win against England in 2012.
“Playing for your country is an awesome thing and a great feeling so it was a tough call,” said Cummins.
“Everyone has their own mission in life and what they’ve got to do. You can’t knock them for it. There’s always a lot going in people’s lives. I’ve had a good run, a good stint and I’m grateful for that. You never say never. There’s always a chance to do things in the future.
“It’ll be great to be back at Twickenham where I got my first meatie [try] and it’ll be nice to run out against the boys and I’m sure there’ll be some banter and some carry on. The preparation week might be different but what a great experience to be on both sides of the pitch.”
And off the pitch, too. Cummins attracts a following of fans who dress up in his honour with curly blonde wigs and headbands.
When it started happening “I first of all thought ‘what the hell is wrong with that bastard’ then I realised, Jesus, they were being me,” he told ESPNscrum.
“I think it’d be outstanding if people dressed up. I’ll be over the fence, having a yarn and speak to as many as I can. If I see them make the effort then they bloody deserve a good yarn and a couple of froths.”
More than 50,000 tickets have been sold already for the Barbarians v Australia at Twickenham on November 1 (2.30pm).
Tickets are still available from £30 for adults and £15 for juniors (U16) at or by calling 0844 847 2492.