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London Irish sign another forward, this time an Argentina back row

By Liam Heagney

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London Irish have again added to their pack of forwards, completing the signing of Argentina back-rower Juan Martin Gonzalez Samso. Formerly of Jaguares, the 20-year-old made his international debut earlier this year when coming off the bench to score a try against Romania and he has since gone on to feature in four Rugby Championship fixtures, including outings against Australia and New Zealand.

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Gonzalez Samso now joins fellow Argentines Agustin Creevy and Facundo Gigena at Hazelwood and he is excited about linking up with his new Irish teammates next month. “It is an exciting opportunity for me,” he said, “I’m looking forward to linking up with the squad.

“I have always wanted to play club rugby in Europe. The English league has always fascinated me. It’s an exciting time to be joining London Irish.”

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See Louis Rees-Zammit as you have never seen him before
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Irish boss Declan Kidney added: “Juan is a young player with great quality. He has already a full international and will certainly strengthen our back row options. He is excited to come and play here. He was really keen on the move, so we can’t wait for him to join us next month.”

It was on October 6 when Irish added tighthead Ciaran Parker to their squad to help them through a tricky time results-wise. Following last Sunday’s draw with Gloucester, they have now gone eleven matches without a win in the Premiership, a run that stretches back to last March.  

It is the Exiles’ most barren run of results in the top-flight since the 14-match winless streak of 2017/18 resulted in the appointment of Irishman Kidney as director of rugby in March 2018 prior to their relegation to the Championship. In their 51 Premiership outings with the ex-Ireland and Munster coach at the helm, their meagre record is 13 victories (and five draws) – good enough for just a 25.5 per cent win ratio. 

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“It’s a statistical thing of drawing matches this year together with matches last year, but I know we are playing better this year than we did last year,” said Kidney last week to RugbyPass when the current winless run was put to him. “You just have to have that belief in yourself to go out, trust your process, trust what you are doing knowing we have been knocking on the door. It takes courage to knock on the door and my belief is that we are learning to win.”

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London Irish sign another forward, this time an Argentina back row

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