Welsh rugby star confirmed as first contestant on this year's Love Island - Ruck

Welsh rugby star confirmed as first contestant on this year’s Love Island

The announcement of the first Love Island 2024 contestant has set tongues wagging, with Welsh rugby heartthrob Ciaran Davies reportedly gearing up for a stint on the ITV2 dating show in Majorca.

Though the specifics of Davies’ role remain undisclosed—whether he’ll be part of the initial lineup or make a dramatic entrance as a bombshell—a source divulged to The Sun: “Ciaran immediately caught the eye of Love Island bosses. He’s not only incredibly handsome with a physique that’ll set the villa abuzz, but he also embodies the charm of a sweet boy next door from Wales.

“He’s the kind of guy you’d proudly bring home to meet your mum. Discussions with the show’s producers have been ongoing for weeks, and he’s poised to jet off to the Majorcan villa in the coming week. While it’s unclear whether he’ll be part of the OG lineup or shake things up as a bombshell, he’s a firm favorite with the casting team and is guaranteed to leave a lasting impression on viewers.”

Anticipation is mounting for the forthcoming series, with producers aiming to elevate the show’s legacy.

Mike Spencer, Creative Director at Lifted Entertainment, remarked: “Love Island is making a grand return, promising viewers an exciting summer filled with a villa packed with attractive singles on the hunt for love.

“We’re pulling out all the stops this season with fresh format elements, an exceptional lineup of Islanders, and a villa that’s practically begging to be featured on Instagram.

“Prepare yourselves for Love Island series 11.”


Notably, a striking facet of Owens’ chosen players is their collective leadership qualities, with the majority of the selected individuals having served as captains for their respective nations.

Fullback: Israel Folau (Australia)

Owens said: “For me, it’s nip and tuck between Halfpenny and Folau, next to nothing to choose between them. Leigh is brilliant because under the high ball and with his kicking at goal under pressure. He may not always break the line when running but puts his body on the line in defence and is a top-notch match-winner.

“But I go for Folau – only just, I should stress – because of his ability to seemingly beat his man every time he gets the ball in his hand. He’s such an exciting player and like Leigh he is one of the best under the high ball.

“It’s a toss of a coin for me… and it’s come down in Folau’s favour.”

Winger: Stuart Hogg (Scotland)

Owens said: “How can you fail to be impressed when watching Hogg play. He’s so exciting as he burst into that line and, of course, was named Six Nations player of the tournament.

“I know he’s a full-back for Scotland, but he is so quick and direct he could easily play on the wing. He reminds me a bit of Shane Williams with some of the things he does.

“When you see who is on the other wing in my team, you’ll see how they would work brilliantly in tandem.”

Fixtures for the Six Nations - Round 1

Outside-centre: Brian O’Driscoll (Ireland)

Owens said: “Not only is he one of the greatest centres in the history of rugby union but he’s a fantastic man off the field as well. O’Driscoll has been a wonderful ambassador for the sport and a real leader. He always respected referees and set the right example for others to follow.

“A legend of the game who conducted himself superbly, on and off the pitch.”

Inside-centre: Ma’a Nonu (New Zealand)

Owens said: “He’s another brilliant player and after every game, win or lose, he would come up and give me a hug. Ma’a has always found time at after-match functions or at breakfast if we’ve been staying at the same hotel to come over and have a chat.

“What a player, mind, too. One of the stalwarts of the New Zealand side for so many years.”

Winger: Shane Williams (Wales)

Owens said: “When people ask me who is the best player I have refereed it’s pretty much an impossible task to pick one because I’ve been lucky enough to take charge of so many greats.

“But if I’m pushed, I would pick Shane for what he achieved after coming from football at 17 or 18 years of age.

“He was in the mould of Gerald Davies in how he left defenders gasping for air as he beat them with those dazzling sidesteps. Nobody would fancy defending against a back three of Shane, Hogg and Folau, I can tell you that.”