Rahboni Warren-Vosayaco thrust into Force starting side after emergency signing

Thu, Mar 9, 2023, 5:00 AM
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson

There will be no time for new Force backrower Rahboni Warren-Vosayaco to settle into life in Western Australia, immediately named to start against Moana Pasifika.

Warren-Vosayaco will start at number eight for Saturday's clash at HBF Park, with captain Michael Wells (concussion) unavailable.

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The former Waratah impressed at the start of the season with Western Sydney Two Blues, helping them upset the NSW side during a 40-minute trial in February before featuring for the Waratahs A side just over a fortnight ago.

With Wells and lock Jeremy Williams both ruled out as a result of failed HIA, coach Simon Cron was forced to 'pull the trigger', signing the former Sunwolves backrower on an injury cover deal.

"We've been working on a depth chart in-behind players that we've got and we were looking at players still training and playing in Super Rugby franchises who are ready to go," Cron told reporters.

"We've been tracking Rahboni for the last six weeks and as soon as Jeremy Williams and Michael Wells both HIA'd, we had to pull the trigger so we were talking with his agent for a while now.

"Rahboni, what a legend! I called him and he said 'when do you need me?' and I said 'I could do with you hoping on a flight this afternoon' and he's an hour and a half from the airport and drove straight there to jump on a plane.

"What a great human to come fill that void on an injury cover contract."

With Wells ruled out, Jeremy Thrush continues his meteoric rise, stepping up as captain as he retains his starting spot.

Ian Prior deputises the 37-year-old, once again swapping with Issak Fines-Leleiwasa, as he partners with Bryce Hegarty.

Cron was eager to see a response after last week's thumping defeat after deep reflections across the group

"I think all of us have to look at what happened during the week," Cron reflects.

"It's not just a player thing, it's coaches as well. We need to look at what we and the players can change.

"The leadership group talked a lot about the mentality going into the game and how we can adjust it to be a bit more aggressive around it. All it took against the Reds was someone missing a role and the speed of them so we have to get better connections defensively to shut them down."

FORCE (1-15): Tom Robertson, Folau Fainga’a, Santiago Medrano, Felix Kalapu, Jeremy Thrush, Tim Anstee, Ollie Callan, Rahboni Warren-Vosayaco, Ian Prior, Bryce Hegarty, Toni Pulu, Hamish Stewart, Bayley Kuenzle, Manasa Mataele, Chase Tiatia

RESERVES: Tom Horton, Angus Wagner, Siosifa Amone, Ryan McCauley, Jackson Pugh, Ian Prior, Nikilao Foliaki, George Poolman

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