Cole Forbes reveals his Scotland ambitions after bright start to his Glasgow Warriors career
The 21-year-old is Scottish qualified through his grandfather from Aberdeen and is likely to be in the thoughts of the selectors ahead of this summer’s A international against England and the Test matches in Romania and Georgia.
Forbes played for New Zealand at the 2019 World Rugby Under-20 Championship but took the pragmatic decision in January that breaking into the All Blacks squad was probably going to be beyond him.
Scotland offered a different path into international rugby and when given the chance of a trial by Danny Wilson at Glasgow he seized it with both hands, although even he admits to being stunned by the speed of his progress – he was handed “a multi-year deal” in February.
“It is a huge surprise,” he said. “I came over here on a three-month trial thinking I was going to be leaving at the end of May. I was just trying to make a difference in training, catch the coach’s eye, and I must have shone a lot better than I thought.
“Danny has been really helpful and given some really good game time so I am stoked how it is going and want to build from there.”
Forbes scored his first try for Glasgow in the Rainbow Cup defeat by Benetton then followed it up with another in the 29-19 win over Edinburgh at Scotstoun in a man-of-the-match performance.
The Warriors return to action against the Dragons in Wales on Saturday then face Leinster at home the following Friday. While ambitious to play for Scotland, Forbes isn’t as presumptuous as to think that he is a shoo-in for the summer tour.
“If it happens, it happens but I am just trying to play well for Glasgow,” he said. “If I get picked I will be stoked and it will be a huge surprise but just now I am just worried about playing well for Glasgow in these last two games.”
Forbes combines his rugby with training to be an accountant and back in New Zealand he played for Bay of Plenty in the Mitre Cup for half the year while the other six months were spent stuck in an office. The opportunity to play rugby full-time was a factor in his move north, along with the realisation that winning a call-up for New Zealand was unlikely.
“Back home there is so much talent and I made the decision back in January when I was getting pushed to the back after a few injuries,” he said.
“I was like, ‘I might as well come over to Scotland when I am only 21,’ and build that aim of playing for Scotland. Not just now, not straight away, but maybe three or four years down the track.
“I could get the chance of being capped and go to the World Cup while in New Zealand I was playing in the Mitre Cup but for the other six months I was just working so I was like, ‘I could be a full-time rugby player’ which is what every kid wants.”
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