He's known for his post-match interviews full of outlandish Aussie idioms, so Nick "The Honey Badger" Cummins is no stranger to fronting the cameras. Yet, when he was first asked to do The Bachelor Australia, the question stopped him in his tracks.
Turns out, the Australian rugby union player said no to the opportunity of becoming the country's next Bachelor. But he quickly came around to the idea.
"I came back after some time to think about it," Nick, 30, tells TV WEEK during our exclusive photo shoot.
"I thought, 'I've got to have a crack at it. It could be a chance to find someone you're meant to spend your life with.'"
Having never seen The Bachelor Australia, he wasn't sure what to expect. And the usually affable Nick found that uncertainty and unfamiliarity nerve-racking.
"I'd heard of the show, but never watched it," he reveals. "When you don't know what you're marching into, you're going to have a few nerves jumping around."
It wasn't nerves, however, that made the transition to reality TV challenging for the rugby star. He reveals he struggled from the beginning with the fast-paced nature of the tight schedule, which made it hard to get to know each woman.
"People were saying it should be easier at the start, but I found it difficult," Nick explains.
"There are girls you haven't spent any time with and you have to say goodbye. So you could be sending home the girl you're meant to be with."
His initial apprehension aside, Nick has taken the plunge and completely invested in the show. He says he's leaving his search for love to fate.
"I think there is a higher power," he explains. "Me being there, and the girls being there at that time – that's what's meant to be. And the girl I'm meant to be with is meant to be in there."
Nick played for the Wallabies 15 times between 2012 and 2014. He was given the nickname "The Honey Badger" after drawing inspiration from the fierce nature of the African animal and attempting to think like one when in defence.
He isn't the first celebrity to lead the dating show. His appearance follows that of singer, actress and TV personality Sophie Monk last year.
But Nick may be the more surprising choice. His friends and family certainly thought so.
"They were a bit shocked – it's not something I'd normally do," Nick says. "But that's probably why I need to do it, and that's what I told them."
You'd be forgiven for querying why a high-profile athlete might need help in the dating department. But Nick regarded The Bachelor Australia as an opportunity to meet someone he may not have met in everyday life.
"If you always do what you've always done, you always get what you've always got," he explains.
The thought that the women in the show wouldn't be there to date him for his fame was a bonus.
"They don't know who the Bachelor is," he says. "So I thought, once I'm there, they can judge me on what they're getting from me at the time and not what they've read or seen."
Nick is known for his off-the-cuff colloquialisms and larrikin persona.
But the footballer says that's only part of his personality – and The Bachelor Australia will reveal sides to him not often seen by fans.
"That real launching, having fun, and high energy – that's me," he says. "But that's a small part. I also have a sensitive side, a spiritual side... all those things. This show brings out almost all of them."
Despite opening himself up to the public in such a personal way, Nick isn't afraid of the critics.
"As long as I'm happy with me and what I've done, I can sleep easy," he says. "Everyone else can go stand in the far queue." [Laughs]
And as for the obvious question – whether the dating show has brought him love – he's not giving anything away.
"You'll have to watch it," he smiles.
The Bachelor Australia is set to premiere on the 15th of August, and air Wednesday and Thursday, at 7.30pm, on Network Ten.
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Now To LoveDec 05, 2019