Highlanders in new SOS call
Wellington - Struggling Super Rugby side the Highlanders have been forced to send another SOS to an aging New Zealand player in Japan, this time bringing back former All Black Mose Tuiali'i.
The 32-year-old Tuiali'i, who played nine Tests for the All Blacks and has been in Japan since 2008, returns to replace injured backrower Nasi Manu.
He becomes the fifth New Zealand player brought back from Japan in the past two years to bolster the Highlanders, who are the only winless side in this year's Super 15 competition.
Last month the Otago franchise brought back Neil Brew, 34, seven years after the journeyman centre went offshore to play first in Bristol, England, and then in Japan.
During the off-season, Highlanders coach Jamie Joseph picked up 32-year-old loose forward Jake Paringatai and former All Blacks lock Brad Thorn, 38, who were both playing in Japan.
Last year, he brought home 30-year-old Tamati Ellison, who was with Japanese club Ricoh.
The Highlanders started the year as one of the more fancied New Zealand sides following their recruitment of Tony Woodcock and Ma'a Nonu from the Auckland Blues to put 11 past or present All Blacks in their ranks.
However, they have been hit by injuries to several key players and also the loss of All Blacks flanker Adam Thomson, who has quit New Zealand rugby to play in Japan.