WORCESTER Warriors have signed Fiji tighthead prop Ropate Rinakama on a short-term contract as a ‘medical joker’.

Rinakama, 31, won three caps in 2017 and 2018 and played alongside Warriors hooker Matt Moulds and scrum-half Jono Kitto for Northland in New Zealand.

He also turned out for Grenoble in France’s Top 14 as a medical joker in 2017-18 and for Singapore's 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 Warriors 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 suffered in the Premiership Cup at Bath.

A second Warriors’ tighthead, Zimbabwe international Farai Mudariki, is also sidelined by an ankle injury.

Rinakama, who will arrive at Sixways on Friday, is to remain with Warriors until the end of December.

He will not be considered for selection for Sunday’s Gallagher Premiership match against Exeter Chiefs at Sixways (3pm).

Rinakama, who weighs in at 18st 2lbs and is 6ft tall, has been registered by Warriors for the European Challenge Cup.

His last appearance for Fiji came in a victory over Samoa in 2018 and he has experienced Mitre10 Cup rugby with New Zealand's North Harbour.

On prop selection for the Exeter match, Solomons said: “At the moment both Conor (Carey) and Rich (Palframan) are fit and good to go.

“Rich played a little bit (of Premiership rugby) a long time ago and has come out of the Championship.

“Conor came out of the Championship and played in Pro 14. The Premiership is very demanding, specifically at set-piece time.

“I think every game is beneficial for them and they are doing well. Obviously there is room for improvement and they are working hard.

“But I am confident our scrum will hold up this weekend.”

On Schonert's injury, Solomons added: “Nick has been going really well.

“He started running out on the pitch which is really positive and good to see.

“It was a grade two (tear) but we are very pleased with the progress he has made.”