Public reaction from the playing squad at London Irish to Tuesday evening’s suspension of the financially stricken club by the RFU has been in short supply, players largely keeping their counsel as they try to absorb the enormity of the Exiles no longer having a league to play in next term.
Wallabies international Ollie Hoskins, though, broke the silence with his passionate tweet, an emotional post that gained a lot of traction. It was 2016 when the Australian first joined London Irish and his love for the club was always evident during his time there, as seen in this insightful interview he did last year with RugbyPass.
Following the confirmation that Irish had been suspended, the front-rower tweeted: “I’m completely devastated. This club meant more to me than just a job.
“It was a legit home away from home and had people involved that I considered a part of my family. Thank you to all the fans, players and coaches over the last 7 years. It’s been incredible. I love you all.”
Hoskins’ message was warmly received, with numerous London Irish fans replying with sympathy and kind words.
Steve Jones summed up the mood, writing: “Your pride and passion shone through on and off the pitch. It was a privilege to cheer you on and gutted we might never see you again in green. Seeing you win a Wallabies cap was so gratifying and a testament to all your growth.”
Another London Irish player to tweet was Ben Atkins. He wrote: “Playing professional rugby for London Irish has always been my dream, I feel so blessed to have done it for as long as I have but also immensely gutted to have it taken away in a manner such as this. Thank you for all the support over the years.”
Club legend Topsy Ojo, another who had spoken passionately in the past to RugbyPass about London Irish, tweeted his feelings on Wednesday morning about the dire announcement that arrived just weeks after a fifth-place finish has been secured in the 2022/23 Gallagher Premiership – their best effort in more than a decade.
“Gutted. Absolutely gutted. Didn’t have the words last night, so just spent a while reading everyone else’s messages about their fond memories. Angry, but just so sad that such a special club is gone. 125 years – should have been a year of celebration. And it didn’t have to end this way.
“I have had 20 brilliant years at this club. Good times and bad, it has been worth it all. I wouldn’t be where I am now without it and hope to continue representing the club with pride. Love to all the staff, players, coaches, wider family and especially the fans, thinking of you all.”
Ollie, your pride and passion shone through on and off the pitch. It was a privilege to cheer you on and gutted we might never see you again in green. Seeing you win a Wallabies cap was so gratifying and a testament to all your growth.
— Steve Jones (@sir_swish2262) June 6, 2023
Playing professional rugby for London Irish has always been my dream, I feel so blessed to…
Read More: The ‘devastated’ Ollie Hoskins breaks London Irish player silence 2023-06-08 09:46:43