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Sunwolves' season officially jumps the shark as flanker moves to midfield

Sunwolves flanker Rahboni Warren-Vosayaco was first named in the midfield for his side's clash with the Hurricanes. (Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images)

TEAM NAMING: In a bizarre turn of events, the Sunwolves have today named Australian-born loose-forward Rahboni Warren-Vosayaco at second five for their match with the Hurricanes.


The Sunwolves, infamous for using more players in their three years in Super Rugby than any other team, have evidently been dealing with a midfield crisis. Warren-Vosayaco, alongside fellow ‘midfielder’ Josh Timu, are the eighth and ninth players to be named to start in the midfield for the Sunwolves this year.

Timu, although he has only featured in two matches this season, is at least a centre by trade. Warren-Vosayaco, on the other hand, has started seven matches for the Japan-based team in the loose-forwards.

The selection is made all the more strange due to the fact that Jason Emery, who has been a regular fixture in the midfield this season, is sitting on the bench.

Warren-Vosayaco has been a standout performer for the team and given the Sunwolves’ impending expulsion from Super Rugby, could be on the radar for a new employer in the coming years. Certainly a number of Australian teams should be keeping tabs on the athletic flanker – perhaps the move to the midfield is simply an opportunity for Warren-Vosayaco to show off his wide-ranging skillset.

Midfield aside, the Sunwolves are fielding a fairly consistent team this week.

Halfback Jamie Booth comes into the starting side at the expense of Kaita Shigeno – who drops out of the squad altogether. Fumiaki Tanaka takes Booth’s place on the bench.

The only other changes to the starting side come in the front row with Nathan Vella taking over at hooker from Georgian Jaba Bregvadze and former Chief Hiroshi Yamashita moving from the bench to tighthead prop.


When the Hurricanes named their side earlier today it was without Beauden and Jordie Barrett and Ardie Savea. Sunwolves supporters may have thought they could catch the Hurricanes unawares – surely nothing will be more surprising for the Hurricanes than seeing the 108kg Warren-Vosayaco at second five.

Sunwolves: Ryohei Yamanaka, Gerhard van den Heever, Josh Timu, Rahboni Warren-Vosayaco, Semisi Masirewa, Hayden Parker, Jamie Booth, Hendrik Tui, Dan Pryor (c), Ben Gunter, Luke Thompson, Mark Abbott, Hiroshi Yamashita, Nathan Vella, Pauliasi Manu. Reserves: Atsushi Sakata, Masataka Mikami, Takuma Asahara, Tom Rowe, Shuhei Matsuhashi, Jamie Booth, Jason Emery, Jamie Henry.



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