Argentina international rejects Bristol Bears to sign with Saracens - Ruck

Argentina international rejects Bristol Bears to sign with Saracens

Bristol were reportedly showing interest in Juan Martin Gonzalez Samoso, the former London Irish back who is currently a free agent following the dissolution of the West London team

However, it’s now emerged that he has rejected Bears to stay in London with Premiership champions Saracens, according to The Telegraph.

The 22-year-old joins Sarries stacked back row options that includes the likes of Tom Willis, Ben Earl, Billy Vunipola, Andy Christie and Theo McFarland.

Clubs in France were also understood to be keen to sign Gonzalez but the talented flanker has opted to remain in England

As per The Rugby Paper, Bristol wanted the Argentinean international who joined London Irish in 2021 after the Jaguares withdrew from Super Rugby. During his time with the club, he featured in 37 games, starting in 22 of them, and made a significant impact as a back-row forward.

Having made his international debut for Argentina earlier in the year, Gonzalez scored a try against Romania as a substitute. Since then, he has been part of Argentina’s Rugby Championship squad, taking part in matches against Australia and New Zealand.

Impressing during his first season in west London under the guidance of Kidney and the team, Gonzalez recorded eight dominant tackles in the Premiership, the highest number for Irish that year. His try in a bonus point loss against Saracens in the EPCR Challenge Cup earned him a nomination for the London Irish Try of the Season.

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Amongst Irish’s loose forwards, Gonzalez ranked fourth for tackle breaks that season and led the back-row players with six Premiership breakdown steals.

Throughout his debut season with Irish, he formed a strong partnership with fellow new signing Lucio Cinti Luna, as well as compatriots Facundo Gigena and Agustín Creevy, making 18 appearances in total.

Bristol Bears confirm seven new signings for next season

Pat Lam, the Bristol Bears boss, has undertaken an extensive squad reconstruction endeavor in the wake of the exits of more than 20 players, which includes the likes of Charles Piutau and Semi Radradra.

Bristol Bears Signings for 2023/24 Season:

#1. Max Malins (Saracens)

Bristol Bears have bolstered their ranks with the full signing of England winger Max Malins, with the added bonus of securing the star from Premiership rivals Saracens. Bears fans are familiar with Malins, as he signed on loan during the 2020/21 season, and even scored in Bristol’s victorious Challenge Cup Final that year.

Malins ended the 2022/23 Premiership season as the joint-third highest try scorer, as he scored 11 tries for Saracens. Malins has previously been crowned the Premiership’s top try scorer, as he ended the 2021/22 Premiership season at top spot with 16 tries.

Try Celebrations for Max Malins of Bristol Bears during the Gallagher Premiership Rugby Semi Final Match between Bristol Bears and Harlequins at Ashton Gate on 19 Jun. Photo: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK

Bristol have certainly signed an undeniable try-machine, in what is an exciting addition for the Ashton Gate faithful. Malins has the added team chemistry of joining up with several England teammates at the Bears, as the likes of Kyle Sinckler and Ellis Genge will make the move a seamless transition for Malins.

Despite England not having a memorable Six Nations by their standards, Malins was impressive on the international stage earlier this year. The 26-year-old scored two tries, and set up a further one for England, whilst making 244 metres with the ball in the process. Bristol fans will have all eyes on Malins at the Rugby World Cup, with the winger ready to showcase his talents once again.

#2. Kieran Marmion (Connacht)

The 31-year-old, who has 28 caps for his country, links back up with Pat Lam having won the Pro 12 title together in 2016. Marmion has made 222 appearances for Connacht during an 11-year spell at the province.

Marmion made his international debut against Argentina in 2014 and was Ireland’s starting scrum half when they edged out the All Blacks in Dublin in 2018.

Director of Rugby, Pat Lam, said: “Once Andy Uren had requested an early release, we began the search for a possible replacement – someone with experience who would be the right fit for our team.

“I’m really pleased to be able to bring in Kieran Marmion – an international scrum half with vast experience who will bring huge value to us on and off the field.  


“Having worked closely with him in the past, I know he is exactly the perfect replacement to fill the void following the release of Andy to Benetton Treviso at the end of the season.”

Marmion added: “I’m really excited to have the opportunity to represent the Bristol Bears on and off the field.

“I’ve followed them closely over the last few years and I’m really looking fo