Castleford Tigers have released Jacques O’Neill ahead of his appearance on the ITV reality show Love Island.
23-year-old O’Neill signed for the Tigers in 2019 and has made 29 appearances for the club. He was also named in England Knights' performance squad in 2021.
The club released the follow statement ahead of O’Neill expected appearance on Love Island on Sunday night.
The club said: “Castleford Tigers can confirm that the Club has agreed to release Jacques O’Neill from his contract to allow him to pursue another opportunity.”
“The Tigers have the first option to sign O’Neill back next year should he wish to return to rugby league.”
“Known for a fearless attitude on the field by Castleford supporters, the Cumbrian born 23-year-old is a proud product of the Tigers’ youth system having come through both our Scholarship and Academy programmes before making his Super League debut.”
“Castleford Tigers would like to wish Jacques well with his new opportunity and thank him for his efforts as a Tiger so far.”
“The Tigers would also like to say a big thank you to Russells who have sponsored Jacques O’Neill throughout his time at the Club.”
O’Neill’s entrance to the Love Island villa was teased on Friday night’s episode, and it was revealed that he is fellow contestant, Gemma Owen’s ex partner. Gemma Owen is the daughter of former England and Liverpool striker, Michael Owen.
The former striker has described seeing his daughter on the reality show as “A father’s worst nightmare”.
He told ITV news: “I have no doubts that she will make us all proud, It's probably a father's worst nightmare, but whatever she wants to do you've got be supportive.”
#LoveIsland is back tonight and one contestant entering the villa is Gemma Owen, the daughter of ex-footballer Michael Owen.— ITV Granada Reports (@GranadaReports) June 6, 2022
Despite his worries, he says he'll be watching from home as she tries to find love in the sun ❤️ https://t.co/utvBRHAmbO
Owen added: “It's been different without her in the house. I've got other kids and my wife and it's been quite tough because she's had to switch her phone off and we've had no contact for a couple of weeks so that's been the hard bit.”
“So, we'll give it a watch and I hope she enjoys herself.”
The next episode of Love Island will be shown on ITV 2 on Sunday night at 9pm.
Featured Image Credit: Alamy
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