Love Island star Jacques O’Neill signs for Championship side Sheffield Eagles

The Love Island star says he's looking forward to getting back to playing rugby. Credit: Sheffield Eagles

Love Island star Jacques O'Neill is joining Championship rugby league side Sheffield Eagles on loan as he looks to return to match fitness.

The 24-year-old hasn't played competitive rugby since he stepped away to take part in the ITV reality show in 2022. He was a contestant in the eighth series of Love Island, but left the villa early, telling fellow contestants he wanted to "get home and be myself again" after struggling with his mental health.

He's spent the last few months training with the Castleford Tigers as he aims to reignite his rugby league career. He's making the move to South Yorkshire to continue his rehabilitation with the Sheffield Eagles on an initial two-week loan, which will continue on a rolling basis until the end of the season.

Jacques O'Neill said: "For me, it’s good to be here in a different environment and back playing rugby.

“I need to get back on the field, that’s the most important thing for me.

“In my time right now, I think it’s the right place for me.”

O'Neill is able to play at hooker or loose forward, and will be additional support for Sheffield’s Vila Halafihi. Credit: Sheffield Eagles

Sheffield Eagles' Director of Rugby Mark Aston said: “Jacques has certainly got potential, he’s played at Super League and everyone I’ve spoke to about him has said great things.

“We’re looking forward to seeing him in training and how he goes on the pitch when he is selected."

He added: “He adds a bit of spice, he’s tough and uncompromising. He’s got a tough few weeks to get himself in condition to be challenging for a spot.”

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