Northampton Saints prop forced into retirement

Santiago Bonorino has been forced to retire from rugby according to an announcement made by Northampton Saints.

Bonorino joined the club from Leicester Tigers during the summer.

The 34-year-old tight-head prop, who won 15 caps for Argentina and represented his country at the 2007 Rugby World Cup, played in 12 games during his brief Saints career, with his last appearance coming as a replacement against Benetton Treviso in mid-December.

A back injury has forced him to call time on his career, but Bonorino says that the last few months at Franklin’s Gardens have been an enjoyable experience.

“It was fantastic for me to play for the Saints,” he said.

“We won a lot and I enjoyed every minute I played for Northampton. I’m happy that the club are doing so well in the competitions and it’s a pity I can’t continue to play.

“I think that they have achieved something important, which is playing well and progressing every game.”

“At the end of the season I am sure they will have won something because there are good players, a good team and a good spirit, that is important for rugby.

“We are sad that we are leaving. We have enjoyed living in Market Harborough and we think English people are fantastic. We have made a lot of friends here.

“I would like to coach in the future. I am also an accountant, so I will have plenty to do and will keep watching the Saints from a distance.”

Bonorino may be returning to Argentina, but the Saints have moved quickly to bring in former Welsh and British and Irish Lions prop Darren Morris to fill the gap in the squad.

Morris, who has made over 100 Premiership Rugby appearances during a total of six years spent at Leicester and then Worcester, has signed until the end of the season.

Northampton Saints Director of rugby Jim Mallinder today paid tribute to Bonorino.

“Santiago has been a good person to have around the squad,” he said.

“Having a tight-head prop with his experience was very important while Euan Murray and Brian Mujati were injured at the start of the season, and he was a big part of our good start to the campaign.

“Like all the coaches, I would like to thank Santiago for what he has brought to the club and wish him all the best in the future.”

Mallinder also said that bringing in a replacement quickly was an important priority going into the second half of the season, adding: “Darren is another prop with considerable experience of Guinness Premiership, European and international rugby. “

“He can also play on both sides of the scrum, which is an excellent ability to have. “

“We are going into a crucial part of the season and with Euan possibly going away with Scotland for the SixNations we had no second thoughts about bringing Darren in to give more competition to our props.”

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