LOVE Island new boy Keanan Brand has the support of a controversial former star of the show.
The professional rugby league player, 24, will arrive in the villa tonight alongside stunning Rosie Seabrook, 24.
Keanan Brand is entering the villa tonightRexSplashJacques O’Neill is cheering his fellow rugby star on[/caption]
And he has the backing of fellow sportsman Jacques O’Neill, who played professional rugby league for Castleford Tigers before signing up for the show last summer.
Jacques commented “go on, laaad” on a picture of the Leigh Leopards centre after it was announced he was heading into the villa.
Keanan is also good pals with Helen Skelton’s ex Richie Myler, who plays for Leeds Rhinos.
Jacques was partnered with Paige Thorne last summer, and they looked to be a winning combination until his antics in Casa Amor tore them apart.
A series of clashes followed and fans accused Jacques of gaslighting. The athlete then began to visibly struggle in the villa and ended up quitting shortly after lothario Adam Collard arrived for his second stint on the show.
Jacques subsequently claimed producers “got into my head” before he kissed Cheyanne Kerr and Mollie Salmon in Casa Amor.
Speaking to his friend and former Love Island star Scott Thomas on the Learning About Judgement podcast, an he said: “Before Casa Amor I was saying to Paige I’d happily leave. I’d found what I wanted. I’d been here long enough with people telling me what to do.
“We found out it was Casa Amor in a few days, so we decided let’s stay. It’s weird because Luca slept outside the first night. And I was prepared to do that as well. I didn’t want Luca being by himself and I thought it was respectful anyway.
“And what really got into my head, because the first day the girls got in, people have said this, I was like a live switch, I literally changed.
“And I’m so glad I’m being able to speak about it because I want people to know. They (producers) come on the tannoy, and they go ‘Jacques you look silly’.
“I’m like ‘pardon, what do you mean, come on tell me?’ And they say ‘no you’re fine, we don’t mean that go to bed’.
“So I go straight to the beach hut and say ‘tell me why I look silly, what’s happening?’
“They say, ‘no we don’t mean it like that, it just looks like you’re following Luca,’ and I’m like ‘no no no it’s deeper than that and I don’t want to be mugged off.’
“So I thought if I’m looking silly I’m going to wake up and crack on. And that’s where I changed.
“I literally woke up the next morning and because they were then saying in the beach hut ‘do you not think you need to test your connection?’ And I’m like, well, after last night if I’m looking silly then yeah I do, I do need to test my connection, let’s go.”
Jacques claimed he told producers he wanted to remain faithful to Paige but was reminded that he “looked silly”.
“I went into the beach hut and I was like, ‘I don’t want to kiss (Cheyanne), I don’t.’
“And they were like, ‘Jacques…’ and then I thought, oh right yeah I look silly.”
Scott asked Jacques if he believed he was “influenced” and the 23-year-old continued: “I’m old enough to make my own mistakes and deal with the consequences.
“No disrespect to Cheyanne, she’s a lovely girl and very good looking but I was always going to stay with Paige. So it was so strange to go out, and they made it look like I was going to get with Cheyanne.”
InstagramKeanan plays for Leigh Leopards[/caption]