.The former rugby star coupled up with Nicole after he competed on 'The X Factor: Celebrity' - in which the Pussycat Dolls singer was on the judging panel - and he admits to being surprised by their whirlwind romance.

Thom told OK! magazine: "I honestly wasn't expecting things to happen this way, but she's just amazing."

The 34-year-old former sportsman thinks the couple are making their long-distance relationship work and revealed he has already met Nicole's family.

Thom explained: "She lives out here so I'm splitting myself between the two places at the moment. I live in Surrey but I visit as much as I can. I came out for three weeks over Christmas. I met her family so it's been great!"

Thom also feels he has exciting career opportunities in LA.

He said: "Some model agencies out here have shown quite a bit of interest so I'm going to see them. There could also be a few rugby opportunities.

"I'm in town for three weeks so I have a lot of time to work it out. Everyone I've met has been so welcoming - things happen in LA. Nicole lives really centrally so it's handy to get everywhere."

The pair publicly confirmed their relationship at last month's Golden Globes after months of romance rumours.

The speculation followed Thom's appearance on the singing competition, in which he performed as part of the trio Try Star.

An insider previously suggested he was "smitten" with Nicole.

The source said: "Thom is completely Nicole's type. And for his part, Thom was smitten early on - he's always said Nicole is one of the most beautiful women in the world. And after weeks of texting, Thom finally plucked up the courage to ask her out, and took her for dinner."

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