5 December 2022
After reaching 150 appearances, London Irish prop forward Oliver Hoskins has reflected on his time with the Club to this point after earning a second league win of the season against Newcastle Falcons.
The Boys in Green ran in five tries in their first appearance at home in over a month to conclude a winless run for Irish, winning 39-17 against Dave Walder’s side.
Hoskins made his seventh appearance for his side in the 2022/23 campaign on the afternoon, coming off the bench to celebrate his milestone appearance in style in front of the Exile Nation.
The elation felt post-match was justified after weeks of “frustration”, with Hoskins hoping to kick-on from the Falcons result ahead of a busy schedule.
“We’ve fallen short weeks on end, so to break that cycle and get that win was a good feeling,” Hoskins said.
“It was a morale booster for the boys, we were all delighted in the changing room afterwards and was justification for the work we’ve been putting in.
“It’s been a bit of a build-up of emotions over the last month, so to get it over the line and get the W is really, really important for the Club.
“Hopefully we can build the momentum into the European fixtures and then against Saracens.”
In the final quarter, Hoskins was introduced as a replacement and further reinforced the grit needed in the performance to overturn Falcons’ four-point lead.
The Australian international made six tackles and forced one turnover in his time on the park at the Gtech, with his headstrong attitude typical of Irish’s resolve.
“There have definitely been frustrations, I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t, but it’s about channelling that frustration into a positive actions, which we done today.
“It’s been about driving our time on the training pitch and then keep putting up performances on the pitch that we are proud of.
“It was a pretty emotional day, we’re all proud of ourselves and hopefully we can continue that going into the second half of the season.”
Making his debut in a 19-0 home victory against Doncaster Knights in the opening day of the 2016/17 Championship season, it has been quite the ride for Hoskins as a London Irish player.
He has been part of two promotion charges from the second tier for the Club, also appearing in a run to the Premiership Rugby Cup final, to culminate in a first appearance for his nation last season.
After celebrating his sesquicentennial anniversary for the west Londoners, the 29-year-old reflected on his “journey” to this point.
“I’m so grateful to be here playing for this Club after all these years.
“The players and staff have made it such a highlight for me.
“I’ve had some great times here, some tough times too, but that’s all that comes with this journey.
“It’s been a building process to where we are now, coming back into London to this amazing stadium.
“The squad we have now, we can compete with anyone.
“Even this season, we have been going away and putting in performances against the best teams in the comp and being right there with them.
“Even though results haven’t gone our way, the process and the way we are playing points to us being in a good spot and hopefully we have broken that rut now and we can kick on.”
With Irish’s first venture into the Heineken Champions Cup in a decade now looming on the horizon for the Exiles, Hoskins depicts the anticipation amongst the squad over the next couple of gameweeks.
“To be playing in the Champions Cup is something I always wanted to do, I’ve been at Irish for seven seasons now and now I’ve finally got the opportunity to go out there for the Club.
“Who better to do it against the French champions!
“They are going to arrive here with a stacked team, we’ll have to be well up for it which I am sure we will be.
“We’re quite charged emotionally after Newcastle, and really raring to go in front of the crowd here at the Gtech.
“You can’t play anywhere better!”