Ex-Castleford Tigers star Jacques O’Neill breaks silence for the first time following Love Island exit

Every rugby fan will have been keeping tabs on former Castleford Tigers star Jacques O’Neill since the forward made his way into the Love Island villa a month ago.

Love Island viewers tuned in to watch an incredibly emotional Jacques O’Neill say his goodbyes to the villa after admitting he wasn’t being the best version of himself last Monday.

Whilst coupled up with Welsh beauty Paige Thorne, Jacques has faced a rocky relationship in recent days following antics in Casa Amor – where he was faced with six different girls in a different environment – and has since been trying with all his might to repair the damage.

However, O’Neill’s mood had considerably worsened as epitomised by  bombshell when new boy Adam Collard walked in with his eyes firmly planted on Paige.

That seemed to tip the scales for Jacques and he lost his rag in last night’s episode, stating towards Adam: “Have you been f**king off? Who the f**k is he? Just another geezer who’s been on the show? He can f**k off then mate.”

That behaviour worried Paige with Jacques then beginning to realise the error of his ways. And, after professing his feelings for his partner, O’Neill revealed his decision to leave the Love Island villa in one of the most emotional moments in reality TV in recent years.

Jacques was keen to emphasise that he would ‘wait for Paige on the outside’ and that he wanted her to be ‘his girlfriend.’

After leaving the show, Jacques admitted it was “the worst decision” he has ever made.

“I was ready to break down.

“I was feeling so mentally drained, I just wanted to go home and get myself right. It broke me and I was already broken,” he told The Sun.

He said: “I took my microphone off, and walked straight through the front doors because I just wanted to get out of that place.”

O’Neill then claims that ITV bosses tried to persuade him to come back after offering a welfare chat.

ITV have replied: “We cannot comment on any individual’s medical records owing to confidentiality and our own duty of care towards the Islanders.

“However we have rigorous and extensive checks in place to assess Islanders’ physical and mental health in advance of being cleared to enter the Villa.

“This is something we take extremely seriously.”

O’Neill went further, posting on Instagram: “Where do I start.. What a rollercoaster of emotions that was from start to finish! Since leaving the villa I’ve had time to reflect on my time being in there and if I’m going to be completely honest I wasn’t mentally prepared for how it was going to be at all – underestimated it massively!

“The first 2 weeks of my experience was probably the happiest I’ve been in a very long time. On the other hand the last 2 weeks was definitely the worst I’ve ever felt in my life. I was finding myself feeling worse and worse every day and if I didn’t leave when I did I was scared I would never have got back to my normal self!

“I’ve watched back the episodes that I got the most hate for and listen I understand why I did. I’ve got a lot of work to do for myself to become a better person. I know my family come out and said about my ADHD while I was in the villa but that is no excuse for me. Yes, I might find certain things a lot more difficult than others but at the end of the day I need to take responsibility for my own actions and I’ll hold my hands up.

“I sometimes couldn’t watch how I was speaking and acting in certain situations but I’m actually glad I’ve watched it because now it’s really opened my eyes up and it’s time to work on myself for myself..

“I want to finish off and just say how overwhelming it is to see how much support Im getting from you people. If it wasn’t for yous I would be in such a worse head space than I am right now so thank you so much for that. You people that have had my back and messaging I have been reading them every night laid in bed overthinking everything and thinking the worst about everything but you people got me through it. I do really appreciate the love, honestly thank you so much.”

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