Celebrity News

Cowboys star James Tamou’s little league

The gentle giant wants a whole team!
James Tamou

On the field, he’s as big and beefy as they come, but cradling his newborn son Barclay, James Tamou admits he’s as soft as a marshmallow.

“I’m the first to leave training now because I can’t wait to get home,” says the clucky Kiwi rugby league star, who plays for the North Queensland Cowboys.

“The guys used to talk about their kids and I used to think it was so boring to listen to, but now I wish I’d had them earlier! Fatherhood has changed me for the better and with Barclay in the family, I finally feel complete.”

The three-month-old tipped the scales at a whopping 4kg when he entered the world. But no surprises there, with a 1.94 metre-tall dad and world-class 400-metre hurdler Brittney McGlone as a mum.

It’s the second time the athletically blessed couple have produced a boy, with big brother Brooklyn now almost two.

“My birth experience with Barclay was so different to Brooklyn, so much easier,” says Brittney, 25, who opted for a water birth at the maternity hospital near their home in Townsville. “Brooklyn’s delivery was very painful, so I began looking at alternatives. I’d heard so many good things about water births, so I watched some videos and decided to do it.”

But while it was stress-free for the young mum, who delivered four days overdue, her partner of five years found the whole process an eye-opener. “I didn’t understand what was going on,” laughs Palmerston North-born James, 26, who avoided the “business end” of the birth, opting instead to comfort Brittney. “I mean, how was the baby going to breathe?”

My mini-me’s!

After cutting the cord and holding his newborn for the first time, all fears subsided and James declared he’d like his own mini league team – or at least another two children.

“I’m up for it, but I want to try to make the Olympic team for Rio first,” says Brittney, who holds the bizarre Guinness World Record for the fastest woman to run 80 metres in stilettos! “I put on 20 kilos with Barclay, but I’m sure I’ll be fine. I don’t have any stretchmarks, so my body seems to bounce back.”

The loved-up couple, who plan to marry next year, found themselves the centre of media backlash when it became clear that Barclay’s birth was going to clash with the Australian league team’s training camp.

“I teased the media that I was going to put the Kangaroos first and that created plenty of debate,” explains James. “But the truth is, I was always going to jump on a plane and be there for the birth. My boys have changed me. Everyone says I’m different now and I no longer put myself first.

“Money isn’t everything to me any more and possessions don’t matter to me. I used to buy designer clothes all the time, but now I get around in shorts and jandals because I’d rather spend my money on my children. I’ve always loved kids, but Brooklyn and Barclay are mine. I love them and I love being in a family.”

Team Tamou can’t wait to get back to New Zealand, and a trip home to introduce gorgeous little Barclay to the cousins is high on the agenda for James, who proudly sports an array of Maori tattoos and often yearns for Kiwi life.

“He’s the best dad and he’s really looking forward to showing off his boys,” smiles Brittney, admitting no jobs are off limits for her hubby. “He cooks, he cleans and he gets up in the night to the boys. The other evening, we even ran into each other in the dark, in Brooklyn’s room.”

With baby number three in the planning, the young mum says she’d love a daughter, as she’s starting to feel a little outnumbered.

“I’m the only girl in the house, so I’ve been asking my friends for the remedy,” she sighs. “Even our dog’s a boy!”

Related stories