Love Islander Jacques ONeill shuns fame to go back to job Ive loved for years

Love Islander Jacques O'Neill has decided to go back to playing rugby professionally.

Jacques, 23, rose to fame last year when he walked into the Love Island villa as Gemma Owen's ex-boyfriend, but fans saw him find a spark with Welsh beauty Paige Thorne.

Now, the professional rugby player has re-signed with his team, Castleford Tigers, and will be making his debut again in May.

"I just can’t wait to be back playing the sport I love again and being back around the ground with the boys," he said of his decision to return.

"Hopefully, in the near future, I’ll be back playing competitive rugby again because it’s been what I’ve been thinking about doing since I came out of Love Island."

Jacques – who played for Castleford Tigers for four years before joining the reality show – continued: "I’ve always wanted to play rugby again; it’s never been the case that I didn’t want to come back to it. It’s what I’ve loved doing since I was a child.”

The Cumbrian rugby star said that after receiving so much support when he left the team, he now wants to get back onto the field to show his appreciation.

Jacques also shared on his Instagram story: "Back doing what I love! Determined more than ever."

Many of his Love Island stars weighed in with their support, including 2022 winner Liam Reardon – who wrote: “Go on son.”

"Proud of you”, Luca Bish added, while alumni Chris Hughes shared: “Well done mate, head down now.” Fans also shared their kind words, with one saying to Jacques: "Great news!!! Welcome back @jacques9oneill_ !!"

"So unbelievably proud of you," another wrote.

It comes after Jacques shared the sad news that his uncle Russ passed away, telling fans he is "absolutely devastated".

Alongside three pictures of his Uncle Russ, Jacques, 23, wrote: "R.I.P Uncle Russ.

"Absolutely devastated and shocked, you will be very much missed by the whole family."

Jacques spent 30 days in the Love Island villa before choosing to leave the show.

The star shocked the nation when he left the villa, as he tearfully told Paige, 24, he was “struggling” in there and became disappointed in himself for letting his emotions take over.

This came after viewers saw Jacques become angry on screen after Paige and Adam Collard, 26, started to become close.


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