Partner’s name: Melissa
Children’s names: Leo (2) & Sonny (newborn)
Charity: DIPG “It’s run by ex Rugby player Matt Dunn, who lost his young girl to the disease last year and is now in the pursuit of finding a cure. It’s a rare brain cancer in young children that’s currently untreatable” - Nic

After three years abroad playing for Exeter Chiefs in England’s premier rugby competition, Australian Wallabies scrum half Nic returned home this year to play for the ACT Brumbies in the Super Rugby competition. Nic has played more than 65 games for the Brumbies since his debut in 2011 and progressed to play 26 Tests for the Wallabies, after first being selected to represent his country in 2013. Nic had to be in quarantine for two weeks upon his return to Australia, with the birth of his second son Sonny delaying the family’s departure from the UK. Not that it worried Nic. “COVID has been really tough from a rugby point of view,” Nick said. “But the silver lining was with the birth of our second boy Sonny, I was able to be at home 24/7 to help Mel and spend some quality time with the family which I absolutely loved.” His partner Melissa went onto say “Nothing fazes him and he never loses his cool. He is always very measured and calm with the kids. He’s incredibly hands on. Nick does nappies, bath and bedtime routines and provides Leo with hours of entertainment!”

You now have two boys, how amazing is that? Unbelievable! We are very lucky we have two beautiful little boys, it’s a very energetic household and we wouldn’t want it any other way! - Nic

Do you find it hard spending time away from the family due to your football commitments? I absolutely love being a rugby player but the hardest part of our job is being away from family. FaceTime’s a life saver, letting me touch base with Mel and the boys. - Nic

How big an inspiration are the kids to your career and have you changed the way you go about your work? Having kids has changed my whole perspective both on and off the field. I’m a role model for how they will grow up and behave. So I want to do my best to set a good example for them always. - Nic

On game day, do you usually relax with the family, do you have a set routine? My routine is the boys’ routine. At home they come first. Most days I’ll get up with Leo when he wakes anywhere between 5:30am and 6am and get a couple of hours with him before I got to work. Game day is no different. I like to get out of the house and go for a walk with Mel and the boys and then get home for the Leo’s nap. After that, I start getting ready to head in to HQ for the game and that’s where my routine starts. - Nic

Has Leo taken a liking to any sports? He loves all codes of footy and when he sees footy on TV - regardless of who is playing - he thinks it’s me and yells “daddy” which is pretty special. - Nic

What’s the best thing about being a dad? All of it. Leo’s got the best laugh and we love to muck around and have a wrestle on the couch. Newborn cuddles with Sonny are awesome. I love being there for the boys to comfort them and let them know they are safe. - Nic

What is your favourite activity with them? I take Leo to do swimming lessons which is great for recovery and he loves the water. - Nic

Do you have any memorable moments with them at this early stage? It’s hard to think of anything more memorable than the day Leo and Sonny were born. It’s a new type of love I didn’t know existed. - Nic

Do you have a favourite family holiday destination or place you’d like to go in the future when things are back to normal? We’ve just spent the last five years overseas away from family so the next holiday will be back home in Maitland and Mudgee for the summer to spend Christmas with all our family. It will be great for the boys to be with all their cousins. - Nic

Tell us about Nic as a dad? Nic radiates energy. He is involved with every aspect of parenting and is definitely the fun parent! He just sets a positive tone for each and every day. I’m very lucky! His best asset is definitely his patience. - Melissa


Sports Dad of the Year 2020
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