NEW signing Ropate Rinakama is set to start training today as Worcester Warriors prepare for Saturday’s Gallagher Premiership trip to Harlequins (3pm).

The experienced tighthead prop arrived at Sixways last Friday and will now be put through his paces by Warriors’ coaches.

Injuries to Nick Schonert (knee) and Farai Mudariki (ankle) led boss Alan Solomons to dip into the transfer market to sign Rinakama on a short-team contract.

The 31-year-old, who has three caps for Fiji, will be at Warriors until the end of December and Solomons said he was an “important” capture for the club.

“He hasn’t started training yet because he has just flown in from New Zealand,” Solomons said.

“He will start training this week. We are sitting with a situation where we have lost Nick and Farai so it is important that we have an experienced tighthead.”

Rinakama played alongside Warriors hooker Matt Moulds and scrum-half Jono Kitto for Northland in New Zealand last year.

“From what I have seen from the footage and speaking to Mouldsy, Ropate is a big, strong boy and has had quite a lot of experience in New Zealand,” Solomons said.

“He came through the Mount Albert Grammar School so he has had a good schooling and rugby education. He has also played a few Tests for Fiji.

“He has been a medical joker in Grenoble so he has had the experience of going oversees playing in the Top 14. I am sure he will add value.”

Warriors’ scrum creaked at times in the 24-20 defeat to Exeter Chiefs on Sunday with tightheads Conor Carey and Richard Palframan both conceding penalties.

“We struggled a little bit at the beginning but as the game went on we got better and it was rock solid in the second half,” Solomons said.

Asked whether it would be difficult to pick his players up for their meeting with Quins at The Stoop, Solomons added: “We can’t think about that now.

“We need to deal with this game first, review it today and put it to bed. Then we can look forward to the Harlequins game.

“It’s obviously a six-day turnaround for Quins but this was an extremely disappointing result.”