London Irish back-row forward and Argentina international Juan Martín González has signed a contract extension with the Exiles, the Club can confirm.
The 22-year-old joined the set-up in south-west London alongside compatriot Lucio Cinti early on into the 2021/22 campaign, going on to make 18 appearances across all of the Gallagher Premiership, Premiership Rugby Cup and EPCR Challenge Cup.
An explosive loose forward on both sides of the ball, his eight dominant tackles in the 2021/22 Premiership were the most for Irish that year, also making joint-most breakdown steals (six) and the fourth-most tackle breaks amongst Irish's back-row players.
González has not only made a stark impression in green, also being one of the standout performers in the 2022 Rugby Championship for Michael Cheika’s Argentina side.
He was the second-highest try scorer in the tournament with four and one of five Pumas making up the top 10 tacklers in the competition with 54, as well as being joint-sixth in clean breaks (four) and seventh in lineouts won (12).
This season, González has made return to Club rugby with 11 appearances for Irish, as well as contributing to his country’s first win over England in 13 years at Twickenham Stadium.
London Irish Director of Rugby Declan Kidney has praised the work ethic of the international Puma and believes the new contract is “just reward” for his efforts.
“Juan has been a fantastic contributor to the side in his year with us, making the journey from Argentina to London is no mean feat but he has adapted extremely well.
“He has helped shape our team and is a brilliant talent, this new contract is just reward for what he has brought to London Irish so far and also an endorsement of what we believe he can do in the green jersey going forward.”
Juan voiced his joy in prolonging his stay under Kidney’s team, citing his development at Irish so far as a big factor in putting pen to paper once more at Hazelwood.
“I’d like to thank the team here at Irish for offering me an opportunity to continue my stay, I have loved my time at this Club so far and I can only see things improving,” González stated.
“After joining last year, everyone has made me feel so welcome and my time on and off the pitch has seen me grow into a better player and person.
“I feel that my game has improved a lot since becoming a London Irish player, I work with fantastic players, coaches and staff that have helped me and I am excited to see where we can go as a team.”