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The single life Love Island winner and Olympic hopeful Greg O'Shea can't find a girlfriend

"There were no dates, there was no seeing anyone, especially because I am involved with the IRFU sevens - we can't be going out socialising with people and having dates"

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Greg on Love Island in 2019.

Greg on Love Island in 2019.

Greg on Love Island in 2019.

HE may have won Love Island and will be representing Ireland at the Tokyo Olympics, but Greg O'Shea admits that rugby and the pandemic have ruined his love life.

The dishy Limerickman won a legion of fans when he and Amber Gill won the last summer series of Love Island two years ago, beating favourites Tommy Fury and Molly-Mae Hague to the £50,000 (€58,000) first prize.

Since then, Greg has finished his final exams to become a solicitor and in recent days he qualified for the Olympics in Tokyo as part of Ireland's rugby sevens team.

But despite being linked with a couple of women after his split from Amber, Greg confesses that he's been single for well over a year.

"At the moment, I'm very similar to a lot of people," he confides to the Sunday World. "The pandemic completely destroyed my love life. There were no dates, there was no seeing anyone, especially because I am involved with the IRFU sevens - we can't be going out socialising with people and having dates.

"Now the restrictions are starting to lift. I will see what happens and see if anyone will even talk to me and go on a date with me."

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Greg says Covid scuppered any romance.

Greg says Covid scuppered any romance.

Greg says Covid scuppered any romance.

Greg (26) is currently living in Dundrum and training with his rugby team-mates at the National Sports Centre in Blanchardstown, but has plans for later in the year.

"I am actually thinking about, maybe after the Olympics, moving to the UK for a bit and see what's going on over there," he reveals. "So we will see what happens, it's exciting times."

As the current king of Love Island, Greg was naturally curious to have a peek at this year's participants.

"On the first night I was flicking over between the France/Switzerland match and Love Island and funny enough when I saw France go 3-1 up, I just switched over to Love Island and then I missed all the penalties," he smiles.

"It was great to see it back after two years. It's nuts to think the last time that show was on I was in there and announced as winner. It was really weird looking at it again.

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"To be honest, none of them (the girls) jumped out to me right away, but if you're looking at them over a TV screen, it's different. In the villa you spend 24 hours with them, you get to know them a lot more intimately.

"Maybe over the next couple of weeks I might take a fancy to one of them, but at the moment no one stands out for me.

"What I thought is really cool is a new feature of this series… voice messages rather than just text, that you can actually hear the bombshell, their voice. That adds a bit more suspense and I thought that was a really good feature."

And he admits that he could have had a bit of bromance with Brad McClelland.

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Brad McClelland (Joel Anderson/ITV)

Brad McClelland (Joel Anderson/ITV)

Brad McClelland (Joel Anderson/ITV)

"He seems like a good guy, like a lovely lad," he says. "Maybe if I had been in there with them, I would have become good mates with them, but I will never know.

"I'm still good mates with Jordan Hames and Michael Griffiths and Chris Taylor from my year.

"Everybody kind of bonds because you are going through the same process to get into the villa, so you kind of bond over that and they are great lads."

And of course, he's smitten with Longford lass Maura Higgins.

"She is absolutely smashing it, she is the queen of Ireland, she has just completely nailed it," he raves.

"The great thing about Maura, which I always tell people, she is exactly like the person you see.

"There is no fakeness with her, she is so funny and such a good girl. I am so proud of her and how well she has done.

"There was never anything romantic between me and Maura.

"Funnily enough, I don't know if people know this, the first night I went in there and I had the hideaway date with Amber, I was supposed to have a second date directly after with Maura but it never happened because me and Amber just got on straight away.

"Me and Maura just kind of clicked over the whole Irish thing but there was never a romantic buzz between us."

But Greg says he has no regrets.

"You learn stuff from every phase you have in life and me and Amber still have a lot of respect for each other and we kind of laugh about it now looking back, we could have handled the whole situation better.

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Greg and Amber Gill won the last summer series of
Love Island in 2019

Greg and Amber Gill won the last summer series of Love Island in 2019

Greg and Amber Gill won the last summer series of Love Island in 2019

"But you get thrown into the deep end and millions of people looking at every step you are taking. It's all in the past now. It's two years ago now and she is flying it.

"She is nailing it with all her brand deals and her fitness page and everything, so I wish her the best."

He admits he reached out to Amber after the sad death of host Caroline Flack last year.

"At the end of the day we are all people and me and Amber shared a very unique experience together, being the winners of the show. I knew how close she was to Caroline, especially after the whole incident with Michael happened in Casa Amore," he recalls.

"I knew she would take it a little bit harder than all the other islanders, but I just reached out to make sure if she was OK and she reciprocated asking if I was alright and we kind of just buried the hatchet and just gave each other support and she is a great girl.

"Amber's army kind of attacked me when I decided not to move to the UK and be with her, but I had other plans in mind and they worked out. I'm going to the Olympics, thank God, even though I took a lot of hate for two years."

He adds: "In normal circumstances, if you take out the fact that it's Love Island and millions of people watch it, it's like going on holidays and meeting someone and kicking off with them, but then you both return to your countries and your work and your jobs, it's very hard to stay in a relationship.

"Then you add millions of viewers into it. I used to be completely open and honest with Amber.

"That's what happened. Then her fans just completely turned on me and her management released an article saying I broke up with Amber over a text, where it wasn't true.

"There were a lot more complications to it. We had Facetime and we had discussed it. It's old news now."

He is naturally sad about Caroline Flack's death and misses her presenting it.

"It was kind of Caroline's show," he says. "It was so nice seeing her coming through the doors.

"It's so sad what happened her. Even thinking back now, she's not the only one that's related to the show that has kind of struggled with mental health and abuse.

"I just hope that people kind of learn from that and it won't happen again, but it was very sad what happened Caroline."

But he's full of praise for Wicklow woman Laura Whitmore as new the show's host.

"She is just something else," he said. "She has just had a baby; she is over there working away.

"She looks incredible. I love that she's Irish as well and she is running the show, and herself and Iain Stirling are amazing."

Asked what his ideal type of girl is, he replies: "As I get older, it's less about looks. I think as you get older, you know straight away if you're going to get on with someone, so I really like a girl that has a healthy lifestyle.

"Like she cares about her fitness, cares about what she eats, is very ambitious about her work.

"Whatever her work is, I just like a girl that really strives for it and she's not just happy to be comfortable and a girl who you can easily get a laugh with.

"Being an Irish fella you like a bit of banter, you like a bit of craic."

Right now, he's focused on the rugby sevens, which involves seven players playing seven minutes each half. It will be the first time Ireland will be represented in the sport at the Olympics.

"We had to build our way up and we got into the world series then and we are representing our country on the top stage, so we are really proud of the effort," he says.

"It's the pinnacle of sport. You go to any corner of the world and they know what the Olympics is."

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