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The Block NZ: Meet Courtney MacKay’s biggest fan

They may be apart, but they’re playing for keeps!

On paper, The Block NZ: Girls vs Boys contestant Courtney MacKay and her rugby-pro fiancé Joe Wheeler would make the perfect team for a home-renovation show. The Highlanders star has got the brawn for all the manual labour and her background in design would make the interiors a breeze.

But despite seemingly ticking all the boxes, the longtime couple insist they’d be far from a dream TV duo.

“I’ve always said I couldn’t do it with Joe,” laughs Courtney. “I’d get angry with him more easily and tell him exactly what I think. Doing it with Emma, I know I’ll still be friends with her at the end!”

But it’s not just 25-year-old Courtney who is glad about her having best mate Emma Diamond by her side on the TV3 reality series – Joe, 28, is perfectly content as a couch supporter at their home in Dunedin.

“I am super-competitive and I know I’d frustrate Courtney as I’d demand so much from her. It would be extremely stressful on our relationship.” With a cheeky grin, he adds, “I wouldn’t want to be in Emma’s shoes!”

It’s this kind of playful banter that first made the couple first click seven years ago. In what they describe as “not a very romantic story”, the pair met in a dusty old bar in Courtney’s hometown of Blenheim, where Joe struck up the courage to ask the petite blonde for her number.

He says it was their chats and jokes that convinced him Courtney was a keeper from the get-go. “That and she’s a pretty good-looking girl,” admits the Cantabrian athlete. “We have great banter and she found me quite funny, so that was a good start!”

The couple have only grown closer since then, with Joe popping the question last year after a romantic helicopter ride up to a mountain near Kaiteriteri.

The rugby star couldn’t be prouder of his girl for tackling the challenges of The Block.

“She doesn’t like going out of her comfort zone, so it’s awesome to see her do something that doesn’t come naturally. I’m so proud of her for doing it,” he reveals.

See more loved-up photos of the pair in our gallery

On paper, The Block NZ: Girls vs Boys contestant Courtney MacKay and her rugby-pro fiancé Joe Wheeler would make the perfect team for a home-renovation show.

The Highlanders star has got the brawn for all the manual labour and her background in design would make the interiors a breeze.

But despite seemingly ticking all the boxes, the longtime couple insist they’d be far from a dream TV duo.

“I’ve always said I couldn’t do it with Joe,” laughs Courtney. “I’d get angry with him more easily and tell him exactly what I think. Doing it with Emma, I know I’ll still be friends with her at the end!”

“I’d get angry with him more easily and tell him exactly what I think. Doing it with Emma, I know I’ll still be friends with her at the end!”

Watch Courtney and Emma in action on The Block NZ in the next video – gallery continues afterwards

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Emma and Courtney’s kid’s room reveal

The couple first clicked seven years ago, after a chance meeting in a dusty old bar in Courtney’s hometown of Blenheim.

Joe struck up the courage to ask the petite blonde for her number – and now, the couple are getting ready to tie the knot.

Joe says it was their chats and jokes that convinced him Courtney was a keeper from the get-go. “That and she’s a pretty good-looking girl,” admits the Cantabrian athlete.

“We have great banter and she found me quite funny, so that was a good start!” he says.

For the proposal, Joe orchestrated a romantic day out that wouldn’t have looked out of place in a Hollywood rom-com.

The 2m-tall jock surprised his lady love by whisking her away to Kaiteriteri, near Nelson, the first place they ever went on holiday together.

From there, Joe organised a helicopter to take the couple up to a nearby mountain and, overlooking a breathtaking vista of rolling hills and the clear blue sea of Tasman Bay, he dropped to one knee and popped the all-important question.

Needless to say, Courtney accepted! But the wedding planning is taking a backseat with Joe’s rugby season in full swing and his fiancée in Block reno mode in the Auckland suburb of Meadowbank.

“She doesn’t like going out of her comfort zone, so it’s awesome to see her do something that doesn’t come naturally. I’m so proud of her for doing it,” Joe says of Courtney’s efforts on The Block.

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