Ben Foden's new father-in-law has commented on the rugby player's whirlwind wedding to his daughter Jackie Smith, and said he gave the couple his blessing.

Earlier this week, Foden surprised fans when he announced he had tied the knot with his new girlfriend after just two weeks of dating.

The marriage came one year after his split from The Saturdays star Una Healy, with whom he has two children.

Speaking to the MailOnline, Foden's new father-in-law Peter Smith said the newlywed's relationship was longer than two weeks.

He told the website: "I believe it was a bit more than a fortnight."

Smith said that Foden asked his permission before popping the question.

He continued: "Jackie is very successful in her own right and she met him at the beginning of the summer.

"The wedding wasn't a surprise. He called me to ask for my blessing and I gave it. I said, 'I want her to have a long and successful marriage'."

The rugby player announced his marriage to Jackie Smith in an Instagram post in which he said she had saved him after a "tough and turbulent year."

He wrote: "This last year has been by far my toughest and most turbulent for a number of reasons that many of you I'm sure are aware of, in some way or another. The world has a funny way of working things out, many people think I'm a bad person - as I'm sure they'll [sic] be many nasty comments left under this post by keyboard warriors a plenty [sic].

"But I met a girl who seriously swept me off my feet and in a time of hardship showed me love, a deep devoted love. People will say we are mad or crazy or even fools, as @snackyjax and I had only been dating seriously for a little over 2 weeks before deciding to get married. But when someone like her comes in to your life, why would I wait?

"Jackie is the greatest human being I've ever come across - she's beautiful inside and out, intelligent, charming, funny, generous, kind, gentle, energetic the list goes on. She will be a great step mum [sic] to Aoife and Tadhg and offers me a future I can't wait to explore with her."