Ollie Hoskins is still in seventh heaven after Australia’s shocking call as Irish prop from London enjoys dreamy second-level trip to Twickenham
- Ollie Hoskins is still accepting his surprise appeal from Australia
- Stubborn London Irishman’s reaction to his selection has gone viral online
- Hoskins moved from Perth to London in 2016 and had little hope of being called out
- He says his dream trip may serve as an inspiration for other young hopefuls
Three weeks after the life-changing event, Ollie Hoskins is still coming to terms with what happened – and his new status.
“It’s weird that you can call me an international rugby player and be able to call me a wallaby, with a cap and my own number,” he said. ‘I am Wallaby No949.’
When the Irish pillar from London was named to Australia’s squad on match day to face England – days after a call-up that left him shaking in shock – a video of his emotional response went viral in the media. rugby circles and beyond. Images of the huge clenched head reduced to tears of joy echoed with the people.
Ollie Hoskins is still in seventh heaven after his shock appeal to the Australian rugby team last month
The story of his unexpected Test debut struck a chord because Hoskins, 28, had all but given up on his dream. He had moved from Perth to London in 2016 and had long believed he was out of sight, out of mind.
But then the call came and his raw euphoria was a glorious antidote to sports cynicism. It wasn’t about money or fame, it was about pride and honor – for Hoskins and his family on both sides of the equator.
âIt was such a crazy time for me,â Hoskins said. âI did not have a warning before the selection. They just read my name.
“I must have received 1,000 messages from all over the world – people I don’t know, but they said they saw the video and it inspired them.”
The 28-year-old was not considering a call when he moved from Perth to London in 2016
The whole episode remains a shock that began shortly after the Exiles’ return draw against the Saracens last month.
âI was training with the Irish as usual, then Les Kiss (the Irish head coach) came over and said ‘The Wallabies need you.’ I left with a full London Irish kit, I I had nothing else! I did a medical examination, they gave me some equipment, I ran to my house and I packed bags.
âI will never forget racing at Twickenham. I just looked around, there were fireworks and 80,000 people. Then we lined up for the hymns and my parents and wife were in the stands right in front of me. This immediately triggered the water supply!
“In the game, I did a few tackles, chased a few kicks and did a few scrums, then looked up and it was all over.”
Rewind five years old and Hoskins was trying to find his feet in the second level of English rugby. He had left the relative glamor of Super Rugby with Western Force and was embarked on a promotional campaign after Irish was relegated prior to his arrival.
Hoskins says his journey may serve as an inspiration to others plying their trade in the second level
âI went from Super Rugby to the Championship and went to places like Penzance in mid-January – playing in horizontal sleet in front of a few hundred people,â he said. âThere were a few times I asked what I was doing. “
Since joining Irish, Hoskins has met his wife and settled in London. His parents met at Brighton boarding school before emigrating and he has parents in Wimbledon, Milton Keynes and Wales.
On Saturday he will be with the Exiles to face Newcastle at Brentford. âI’m sure there are a lot of guys out there, working every week, maybe not getting the recognition they deserve,â he said. “I hope my situation will help other people realize that if they keep working, you never know.”