Troubled AFL star Ben Cousins could be getting his big break in reality TV following rumours he is tipped to star in SAS Australia.
The West Coast Eagles great, 44, is ‘at the top of the wish list for the casting team’ working on next year’s season of the gruelling Channel Seven show.
TV insiders told The Herald Sun he was ‘approached for each of the previous three seasons’ of SAS Australia and they expect Seven to make another offer.
It comes after the Brownlow Medallist turned his life around after overcoming an addiction to meth.
Earlier this month, Cousins attended a fan meet-and-greet in his home city of Perth.
He looked to be in the best shape of his life as he raised his arm triumphantly while posing with guests and signing autographs at popular streetwear shop Street X.
The event was held to promote Cousins’ new limited-edition clothing range featuring shirts bearing his image and the slogan ‘Prince of Perth’.
At his peak, Cousins was regarded as the best player in the AFL, but suffered a rapid demise due to his rampant drug use and a total unwillingness to rid himself of negative life influences.
Cousins, who is now a demolition tradie, decided to turn his life around in 2022 after being jailed for the sixth time in 13 years.
The former Eagles captain was convicted on November 4, 2020, and sentenced to seven months jail for stalking his ex-partner Maylea Tinecheff.
He was released just two weeks later from Hakea Jail in Perth due to time already served.
Buoyed by the knowledge that getting clean and healthy was the key to being a good dad to his children, son Bobby, nine, and daughter Angelique, seven, he soon started talking to Susan Backshell, a mental health support worker.
She issued him a blunt ultimatum soon after they met: ‘Give your all, or forget it entirely.’
Since then, he has volunteered at several events in and around Perth with Ms Backshell’s community group KALT Collective, acting as a beacon of hope for disadvantaged youths, addicts and reformed criminals.
He was even named as employee of the month at a Perth construction company in October 2021, in another sign he had truly turned his life around.
The flow-on effect has seen Cousins able to spend more time with his children.
Before his well-overdue epiphany, Cousins had been in and out of jail since 2010 on drug and domestic violence charges.
‘I appreciate the support of everyone and how many chances they have given me, more than I deserve and more than I would have given anyone else,’ Cousins said in September 2021, according to The West Australian.
Cousins, who won the Brownlow Medal in 2005, made his long-awaited return to the ceremony in September last year when both the awards night and the AFL Grand Final were hosted in Perth due to Covid restrictions in Victoria.
He attended the Brownlow with WA FIFO worker Kelley Hayes as his date.
While they appeared very happy holding hands on the red carpet, it’s not known if the pair are still together today.
‘I’m just very fortunate that I got the opportunity to come to one of football’s great nights,’ he said on the red carpet.
‘It’s definitely a big night, it’s been a while since I’ve been to one of the football industry nights so I’m looking forward to it.’