Jacques O’Neill: Love Island 2022 contestant and Gemma Owen’s ex-boyfriend in profile

‘I was saying to my mum the other day that I want a girl,’ O’Neill told ITV ahead of entering the villa

Love Island's contestants Gemma and Davide kiss

Jacques O’Neill, the ex-boyfriend of Gemma Owen, is the newest addition to the Love Island villa.

At the end of Friday night’s episode (10 June), O’Neill’s arrival was teased, with current Islander Gemma (who has just coupled up with Liam) exclaiming: “Oh my god. That’s my ex-boyfriend.”

It is not yet known how Jacques’s arrival could affect Gemma and Liam’s budding romance, but here’s what we know about the new Islander...

Jacques is 23 and comes from Cumbria. He is a professional rugby player, with his team Castleford Tigers have releasing him as a player to allow him to “pursue another opportunity” by going on Love Island.

He has played for the Super League club 29 times since signing in 2019 and was named in England Knights’ performance squad in 2021.

Asked by ITV why he’s going on Love Island, he said: “I had injury after injury with my hamstring last year. I had an operation and it was a bad time for me. I was saying to my mum the other day that I want a girl and to settle down. I’ve done all my bits.”

He said he thinks he’s a good catch because he is “loyal, respectful and I’ve got good manners”. He added: “I would have a baby in two or three years. I think I’d be good with babies too, they’d be good looking, wouldn’t they?”

On why he’s single at the moment, Jacques said: “I split up with my ex and then I was seeing someone else. I was concentrating so much on my rugby and then I had that injury. I think it needs to be the right person, at the right time.”

He summed up his dating history as “steady!” without naming Gemma once in the Q&A.

Jacques said he falls in love “quick”, adding: “I literally know if they’re going to be my girlfriend within a week. I fall pretty quick.”

Love Island airs nightly, except Saturdays, at 9pm on ITV2.

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