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Castleford release Jacques O’Neill from contract ahead of Love Island appearance

Castleford Tigers’ Jacques O’Neill, left, has put his rugby league career on hold (Mike Egerton/PA)
Castleford Tigers’ Jacques O’Neill, left, has put his rugby league career on hold (Mike Egerton/PA)

Castleford Tigers hooker Jacques O’Neill has been released from his contract as he prepares to enter ITV’s reality show Love Island.

The Super League club have confirmed O’Neill’s release “to allow him to pursue another opportunity” and said they have first option to re-sign the 23-year-old if he wants to resume his rugby league career.

O’Neill took to his Instagram account to send a “something a little different” message.

A Tigers’ statement read: “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.”

Castleford’s media and marketing manager Tom Maguire tweeted: “Some boy about to enter a certain villa.”

It has been reported that O’Neill is the ex-partner of Gemma Owen, the daughter of former Liverpool striker Michael Owen, who is already a Love Island contestant.

O’Neill, who made his Super League debut for the Tigers in March 2019, had been hoping to regain a regular starting place after hamstring surgery before putting his playing career on hold.