"Life-changing opportunity" - Eddie Jones signs two English players for his Japanese club - Ruck

“Life-changing opportunity” – Eddie Jones signs two English players for his Japanese club

Suntory Goliath, where Eddie Jones remains a central figure have confirmed the signing of two English players.

The Japanese club, previously linked with a move for Manu Tuilagi, revealed a flurry of new signings in a recent announcement.

Firstly, Sam Jeffries, hailing from Bristol Bears, has officially joined the team. His selection to the England squad on 30th June 2022 as injury cover for Charlie Ewels during the Australia tour showcased his talent.

Sam, an Academy graduate, took an extended hiatus from the professional game in 2019 due to a knee injury. However, he remained actively involved with the club’s backroom staff, assuming the role of Professional Development Manager while undergoing rehabilitation.

Making his return to first-team duties in 2021, Sam’s exceptional performance earned him a spot on England’s tour of Australia in the summer of 2022.

Commenting on the signing, Director of Rugby Pat Lam expressed, “Sam was all set to sign an extension to remain at the Bears when, at the last minute, he received a life-changing opportunity from overseas. Unfortunately, given the salary cap reduction in the Premiership, we were unable to match the offer.”

Sam’s remarkable journey, overcoming a career-threatening injury to represent England, serves as an inspiration and testament to his unwavering dedication and professionalism.

“He has made a significant impact on the Bears, both on and off the field. We extend our best wishes to him and his fiancé Suzie as they embark on their next chapter together,” added Pat Lam.

Furthermore, former Saracens player Hayden Thompson-Stringer has also joined Suntory Goliath, following successful stints in France with Brive and La Rochelle.


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Paolo Odogwu of England Rugby during the Six Nations Championship, 127th Calcutta Cup match between England and Scotland at Twickenham Stadium, Twickenham, London on February 6 2021. – PHOTO: Phil Mingo/PPAUK