On their four days in Rio together, Melissa Hoyer learnt a lot about Nick.
On their four days in Rio together, Melissa Hoyer learnt a lot about Nick.

‘I spent four days with the Honey Badger’

I SPENT four days with the Honey Badger - aka Nick Cummins - at the Rio Olympics in 2016.

The former rugby star has signed up as the next Bachelor Australia, and if the success of celebrity Sophie Monk as the Bachelorette is any indication, his inclusion will be an absolute ripper.

I already knew Cummins was a bit of an enigma (me being a huge rugby fan and all) but often wondered whether it was all staged, or whether what we saw and heard was totally legit.

So when the host who invited me to Rio's opening ceremony said Cummins was going to be one of my fellow travellers, I couldn't press the 'Yes I'd love to' response fast enough.

Mel Hoyer spent four days with Nick Cummins in Rio. Let’s just say she learned a lot.
Mel Hoyer spent four days with Nick Cummins in Rio. Let’s just say she learned a lot.

Apart from his command of Aussie slang and larrikin spirit, there are a few juicier things I learnt about the man.

So to the dozen women gearing up to be part of the reality dating show - and at the mercy of its producers and editors - here's a few things you need to know about the Badge.

Firstly, let me tell you he is completely genuine.

Cummins told me it was from his dad that he plied his talking trade. And it comes as easy to him as the Queen's English and talking 'Strayan' comes to the rest of us.

Aware of where his bread was buttered - he was in Rio, a major ambassador for sports brand Oakley - the tall, cheeky, charming and perennially smiling sportsman was never seen out of their merch.

Even when we went to watch a volleyball game on the sands of Rio beach, he took nearly everything else off to get a few rays, but he never, ever took off the signature designer specs.

And man, he is tall. But then, I am not. So wherever he goes, those curls, his height and expertly toned physique always command a room. Or a stadium.

Clearly Cummins loves to exercise.
Clearly Cummins loves to exercise.

Even though it was a zillion degrees, day and night, he would still exercise each morning. Anyone not partial to the odd workout should withdraw their application. Stat.

But that's just the external Honey Badger.

The thing about Cummins is he's recognised all around the world. Just walking into the opening ceremony stadium, he was inundated with people wanting selfies and interviews.

I didn't realise former Wallabies were so famous in Brazil.

So, budding bachelorettes, be prepared for the attention. (Ha, what am I saying? Of course they are!)

Cummins is partial to a bevvy, and we shared many Skol beers and caipirinhas - Brazil's national drink - during our time together. Which, of course, will come in very handy as he deciphers the drink-of-choice of prospective young women who will be paraded in front of him during the show.

Mel Hoyer wasn’t prepared for how famous Cummins was around the world.
Mel Hoyer wasn’t prepared for how famous Cummins was around the world.

Cummins seriously adores women - and most humans in fact - and is nothing but respectful and protective towards them. See the size of him? Every time I was with him I felt like he was a big bear protecting me on those wild streets of Rio.

OK, before you think I went all cougar on him, never fear! There was nothing. Zippo.

Cummins was like my young, funny, perpetually-adventurous but also very thoughtful younger brother. He has empathy and compassion, he's always up for a challenge, is partial to a big feed and has some brilliant one-liners.

And he listens. We had good and solid conversations, not just the 'Gee, you look bewdiful!' crapola.

He's also like a living, breathing Action Jackson figure, and even after our time in Rio, he was off to either Chile or Africa or somewhere naturally exotic for some more adventures - usually with his GoPro attached to some part of his body.

Cummins isn't prone to smartypants, designer-clad people. The more natural the better. To him, being strong - mentally and physically - is sexy.

Nick Cummins is like a living, breathing Action Jackson figure.
Nick Cummins is like a living, breathing Action Jackson figure.

You will be pleased to know that Cummins isn't always 'on' or sitting back creating his next funny piece of rhyming slang.

During one dinner, he was incredibly philosophical and deep - without going all Tony Robbins on us - and I always got the feeling he was still searching. Searching for either love, the next adventure or another adrenaline rush similar to what he would always get on the rugby field.

Mel says the former rugby player is a thrill-seeker. A girl who just wants to stay in and watch Netflix probably won’t cut it.
Mel says the former rugby player is a thrill-seeker. A girl who just wants to stay in and watch Netflix probably won’t cut it.

For example, we had been told not to go out by ourselves at night - and were even issued wristbands in order to get back through security into our hotel.

One night, after coming back to our hotel, which was not far from the famous Ipanema Beach, we played hookie and six of us ended up at a bar just down the road.

It was pretty tragic to be honest. Just a few Olympians who had already crashed out of their sport, a few exotic ladies plying their very popular trade and a whole lot of Brazilian blokes boozing. Umm. Yay. Party.

We had a beer as we all sweated at midnight in the searing heat, and we were back at the hotel in about 15 minutes and upstairs on the top for the hotel near the pool having another beer.

So whoever is the young woman Cummins ends up 'choosing' on his Bachelor tenure, she better be ready for lots of obscure and bloody exciting adventures, because there's no way this guy is going to end up with a chick who wants to slump on the lounge with a constant stream of Uber Eats deliveries and Netflix binges.

The Honey Badger was loyal to his sponsor in Rio and never took off the signature designer specs.
The Honey Badger was loyal to his sponsor in Rio and never took off the signature designer specs.

Needless to say, it just wouldn't have worked out between us. (If I was allowed to insert an emoji here, it would be that predictable 'winking' one.)

Good luck Nick. I'm sure you'll see the Bachelor line, pin back your ears and end up bagging a bit of meat in the corner, which will be tops!

(Apologies for taking license with just one of your incredibly memorable rugby lines.)

Go forth bro!

For more fascinating observations on cougars, caipirinhas and Uber Eats, follow me on Twitter and Instagram @melissahoyer.


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