Emotional ex-Castleford Tigers and Love Island star Jacques O’Neill opens up on struggles and desire to be role model

A year ago Jacques O’Neill was a name widely known in the rugby league world as an exciting up and coming hooker at Castleford.

However, now his name has much wider connotations after his stint on Love Island where he quickly went from a fan favourite and a part of a couple tipped by some to win it alongside Paige to being a controversial figure.

In the end, Jacques took the very bold yet admirable decision to leave the Villa as mental health issues took their toll whilst in the Villa. He even said he would wait for Paige on the outside though she was soon swept up in another couple which would go far into the competition.

Since leaving the Villa, O’Neill hasn’t shied away from the spotlight despite the fact some took a disliking to him towards his final days in the Villa. Instead, O’Neill has been open and honest about the experience striving to shed light on the problems he faced as well as shining a spotlight on the challenges ADHD posses as someone who suffers from them on a day to day basis, he wants to make it easier for young people with ADHD to be excepted by others and themselves and O’Neill is certainly doing that with the way and the frequency he opens up.

He now has a terrific new platform through The Social PR who are the UK’s fastest growing PR agency which has led to a new series called Learning About Judgement where he’s set to open up on these things.

A clip promoting the new series has been shared on Instagram by founder of The Social PR Scott Thomas in which O’Neill speaks openly about the struggles he faced especially with the way his family felt after his appearance on the reality show as well as his ambitions to be a role model for kids with ADHD.

He said: “If I didn’t leave when I did, I could feel myself getting into a really bad place.

“The hardest thing was just seeing my mum how she was. I couldn’t even leave the house. She went, ‘Jacques you can’t go out. You can’t go our, like everyone hates you.

“When I was thrown into this world I was like this is absolutely crazy but my mum was like ‘what about all those kids with ADHD?’ I was like ok, maybe I can stand up here.

“I’ve realised all I want to do is be a better person for other people as well and for myself.”

In recent weeks, O’Neill has stood up as he wanted to do following his former club Castleford all over as they chased play-off rugby. Their play-off dream sadly died at Headingley where O’Neill spoke on Sky Sports at what his future might hold not ruling out a return to rugby league.

Should you want to watch the full clip from the new series yourself, you can here in which Jacques opens up further about offending people and being in what he called a “washing machine” headspace.

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