INJURY-HIT Worcester Warriors have recruited Fiji international tighthead prop Ropate Rinakama on a short-term contract as a ‘medical joker’.
Rinakama, 31, won three caps between 2017 and 2018 and has played alongside Warriors hooker Matt Moulds and scrum-half Jono Kitto for Northland in New Zealand.
Rinakama has also played for Grenoble in France’s Top 14 as a medical joker in 2017/18 and for Singapore-based Asia Pacific Dragons in this year’s Global Rapid Rugby competition.
“We have been looking to bring in an experienced tighthead prop since Nick Schonert suffered a knee ligament injury last month,” said director of rugby Alan Solomons.
“Ropate has already played for Grenoble as a medical joker and, having played alongside Matt and Jono for Northland, it should help him to settle in quickly here.
Schonert is expected to be out of action for three months with the injury he sustained in the Premiership Rugby Cup match at Bath.
A second Warriors’ tighthead, Zimbabwe international Farai Mudariki, is also currently sidelined by an ankle injury.
Rinakama arrived at Sixways on Friday (November 1) and will remain with Warriors until the end of December. He wasn’t considered for selection for Sunday’s Gallagher Premiership match against Exeter Chiefs at Sixways.
He has been registered by Warriors for the European Challenge Cup campaign which kicks off next Friday (November 15) with the long trip to Russia to face Enisei-STM (kick off 7pm).
After a trip to France to face Castres on November 23 Warriors face a reunion with former director of rugby Dean Ryan’s Dragons side next month.