Nick Cummins has become an Aussie cult hero known the world over!
Every decade or so Australia produces a star so effortlessly charming and relatable they win fans the world over — Nick Cummins has done just that.
One of Australia’s most original and loveable sporting heroes, Cummins first gained public attention for his successful international Rugby Union career.
Affectionately nicknamed the ‘Honey Badger’, it was Cummins strength, toughness and never-say-die attitude on the playing field which saw him become one of the most respected Winger’s in the game.
But with an x-factor far beyond his athletic ability, his unique Aussie larrikin persona and adventurous spirit fast gained a devoted following, catching the attention of global publishers, brands and television executives alike. There is nothing cookie-cutter about the man National Geographic channel describes as “one of Australia’s most beloved personalities”.
With his signature look of blond curly hair, bushy moustache and head tape – reminiscent of eras gone by – Cummins post-match television interviews and now infamous one-liners went viral, drawing in a whole new generation of fans who knew nothing about his chosen sport, but couldn’t get enough of his authentic warmth and unbridled sense of fun.
ESPN observed the phenomenon: “His popularity has translated to more fans from other sporting codes tuning in, more dollars and more bums on seats for rugby as a sport.”
Born in 1987, a natural athlete and one of eight children, Nick grew up with a strong drive to achieve and a deep love of the great outdoors.
At 19 he made his national sporting debut in Sevens rugby. A phenomenon from the beginning, he was Australia’s top try scorer in the Sevens Rugby World Series.
In 2008, Nick was snapped up by the fledging Super Rugby franchise, the Western Force. Continuing to impress, he was again called up to play for his country in Sevens where he won a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi.
His big break came in 2012 when he was selected to make his debut for the Wallabies, and in just his second season his peers named him Player of the Year.
However no sooner had he hit the top, playing 15 celebrated starting Test appearances for the Wallabies, he made the difficult decision to leave Australian rugby midway through the 2014 season for a lucrative playing contract in the Japanese Top League – a decision that would financially support his incurably sick father and two siblings with Cystic Fibrosis. As Nick put it , “family is number one, that’s flat-out it! And for a lot of people, when they are put in a certain position, they will come to that conclusion.”
Nick would eventually return to Australia to play another season with the Western Force in 2015, as well as playing with the Australian Sevens in 2016. It was during this period Nick would start to show his true off-field range which laid the foundation for his post-sports success.
He starred in national television campaigns for Tradie Underwear, The Iconic and Head & Shoulders and became an in-demand guest speaker, sought after for rollicking anecdotes and tall-but-true tales.
Taking a break from rugby, he pursued his thirst for physical adventure and cultural insight, travelling extensively. In Peru he stayed with a shaman and undertook the Ayahuasca ritual. In Mongolia he travelled the Altai Mountains with nomads as they hunted with Golden Eagles. In Arctic Norway he stayed with a Sami family and learned how they farm, herd and race reindeer. He travelled by skidoo across Lapland (Finland, Sweden and Norway), camping in ice caves and eating the catch from ice fishing.
Back home in Australia he learned from Indigenous elders, mustered buffalo in the Top End, raced camels in the outback, and made a 5,600-mile motorcycle expedition from the continent’s desert heart to within reach of the Great Barrier Reef.
He tells of his happy-go-lucky approach to life in his two best-selling books, Tales of The Honey Badger and Adventures of The Honey Badger – the later co-written with his father. His colourful and humorous off-the-cuff tales reflect the life of a young man who has travelled extensively and experienced no shortage of daring adventures.
TV’s National Geographic channel snapped him up for the multi-year travel series Meanwhile in Australia with Nick Cummins, with Nick writing and producing as well as starring in the show. He was chosen as Australian co-host for the Sylvester Stallone-produced Netflix American sports entertainment show Ultimate Beastmaster and he also wrote, created and starred in the hit digital series Off the Grid with the Badger.
In 2019 a long-time passion project came to fruition with the launch of the Rogue Gentlemen’s Club (RGC). Offering small-group adventure travel for men, it furthers cause close to Nick’s heart — mental health, the need for men to open up about their own struggles, and the healing powers of mateship and nature. “RGC is all about sharing what I’ve learned about letting go of limitations, taking ownership of your life and being an authentic man.”
Cummins is set to appear in a new television series with Channel 7 in 2020, titled SAS: Survival of the Toughest. He will also produce and star in the second series of Off the Grid with the Badger.
Nick has current multi-year commercial partnerships with Volkswagen, Tradie Underwear and national outdoor retailer, BCF.
Multi-talented and ever-hungry for the next challenge and adventure, Cummins’ is, without doubt, a star on the rise!