Campbell Johnstone, the trailblazing first openly gay All Black, has shared the news of his engagement to Ben Thomson. The announcement marks another significant milestone for New Zealand rugby, following Johnstone’s courageous decision to come out earlier this year.

When YOUR EX interviewed Campbell Johnson with his partner (now fiance Ben sitting by his side. They were sheepish when we asked if Campbell had come out because the two were planning to marry soon. “No,” they replied with darting eyes and a nervous laugh. Fast forward four months and the two have announced their engagement.

Expressing his immense happiness, Johnstone took to Instagram to proclaim his excitement over Thomson’s acceptance of his proposal. In an interview with Woman’s Day, he stated, “I couldn’t be happier right now. It’s been such an incredible and crazy year! It’s a good way to celebrate.”


The couple’s journey began in 2016 when they met at a pub in Cambridge. Despite living in different parts of the world at the time, their connection remained strong as they reunited in New Zealand amidst the global pandemic. Following the easing of lockdowns and quarantines, they realized their bond was unbreakable.

The engagement itself took place during their trip to Turkey, where Johnstone knelt down and asked Thomson to marry him against the breathtaking backdrop of Cappadocia. Recounting the moment, Johnstone admitted his speech was spontaneous, saying, “I just said, ‘Ben Thomson, will you do me the honor of marrying me?'”

Sharing their happiness on social media, Thomson declared, “I’m a fiancé now! Can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with you.” Johnstone echoed the sentiment, expressing gratitude to Thomson for making the day one of the happiest in his life.

During his rugby career, Johnstone represented the All Blacks in three tests in 2005. He also enjoyed successful stints with Canterbury and the Crusaders, amassing a commendable record. Johnstone’s public coming out earlier this year garnered international attention and drew praise from fellow All Blacks and the wider New Zealand Rugby community for his bravery.

As Campbell Johnstone and Ben Thomson embark on this new chapter of their lives, their engagement serves as a testament to love’s ability to conquer barriers and challenge stereotypes. Their story continues to inspire countless individuals, both within the LGBTQ+ community and beyond, as they embrace their authentic selves and celebrate love in all its forms.