The Block lovebirds Hayden & Jamie: We’re the team to beat!

They nailed romance – now they’re building a dream!
The Block love birds

He’s a former police officer, a star rugby player and a trainee lawyer, plus he’s proficient with a paint brush and handy with a hammer. Yes, The Block NZ: Villa Wars contestant Hayden Campbell really is a jack of all trades, but there’s one special skill the sports nut keeps close to his chest – his way with the ladies!.

His fiancée Jamie Johns tells Woman’s Day her husband-to-be, 29, won her over with his smooth moves and gentlemanly charm. “He’s very much an undercover romantic,” reveals the netball gun, 23, who plays for North Harbour.

“He’s your typical macho Kiwi bloke with a hard exterior when he’s with his rugby boys, but when he’s with me, he’s always opening doors and taking my coat. He knows exactly when I need Bubble O’Bill ice creams to cheer me up and he always writes me little notes when he leaves for work in the morning. He’s very cute.”

Instant sparks

A match made in sporting heaven, Hayden – who plays for North Shore Pride – and Jamie first set eyes on each other at an Auckland bar four years ago, and the bald, burly rugby jock knew she was the one.

“I pointed out a beautiful blonde girl,” he recalls. “She was wearing a strapless dress with sequins across the bust.I remember turning to my mate and telling him to back off. I’ll never forget Jamie – she walked through the bar and it was like something out of a movie. The music stopped and everything felt like it went into slow motion. Obviously, she was perfect for me. She was fit and athletic, with a beautiful smile, and she had her boobs out a little bit!”

Grinning cheekily, Hayden adds, “I’d been watching Jamie all night and I said to the boys, ‘I’m not leaving here until I at least get to talk to her.’ One of the boys passed me a Red Bull, which I sculled back. Seconds later, Jamie popped up out of nowhere and said, ‘Hey, that’s my drink.’ But when I offered to buy her another, she declined and I really thought I’d ruined my chances.”

He couldn’t have been more wrong. Jamie laughs, “I’d been thinking about how I was going to approach him without looking overly keen or desperate, so when Hayden’s mates picked up my drink, I knew I had the perfect opportunity.

“We had a flirty conversation and then we went our separate ways, so I had to come up with another plan to talk to him again. I told my girlfriends, ‘I’m not leaving this bar until he asks for my number.’”

At 5am, when the lights came on, the young couple were the last left in the club and Hayden finally plucked up the courage to ask Jamie out. Sniggering, he remembers, “I rocked up to her and said, ‘At the very least, I owe you a Red Bull, but I’d much rather take you out to dinner.’”

It was a cheesy pick-up line, he admits, but Jamie was hooked – and the couple celebrated their four-year anniversary just before moving into their Block do-up. With only a small amount of painting and plastering experience to their names, Jamie and Hayden are well aware of how tough the renovation challenge will be, but the lovebirds have endured many testing times in their relationship and feel they can handle anything that comes their way.

Back in 2011, rugby injuries forced Hayden to leave his job on the force, while this year, Jamie had to abandon her netball dreams to take on The Block. She tells, “I had a trial for the Auckland Mystics just two weeks before the show and I’ve had to give up the last part of club netball. I’ve never wanted to stop playing netball for something ever. I grew up on the netball court – it’s all I’ve ever known.

“This is a very big sacrifice, but I think it’s a sacrifice worth making. Winning this show could set us up for life. However, we’re in it for more than just the money. We are a give-it-a-go couple who like to push the boundaries.”

Nodding, Hayden adds, “We’ll tackle The Block like we do our relationship – when one of us is weak, the other one is strong. At the end of the day, we are just best friends who stick by each other.”

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