Leinster v Glasgow Warriors: ‘Impressive’ Cole Forbes handed chance against Pro14 champions

New Glasgow signing Cole Forbes has already made a favourable impression on the Warriors coaching staff with his performances in training. Now the junior All Black gets the chance to do it for real when the Scotstoun side take on Leinster in Dublin this evening.

Cole Forbes has impressed the Glasgow Warriors coaching staff in training. Picture: Ross MacDonald/SNS

Forbes couldn’t have asked for a tougher debut than an away match against the Guinness Pro14 champions but Glasgow assistant coach Kenny Murray likes what he’s seen so far of the 21-year-old.

“Cole has really impressed at training - he’s been a bit of a stand-out - so we were keen to get him on the park and see how he does,” said Murray.

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“It’s a big challenge playing Leinster away from home, but we’ve got confidence in those guys.”

Forbes, who played for New Zealand at the 2019 World Rugby U20 Championship, has been training with Glasgow since January and was rewarded last week with a “multi-year contract”.

He can play in the back three or at stand-off and is Scottish-qualified, though Murray was wary of touting him for Test rugby just yet.

“I think he needs to prove himself here - he’s not played yet,” he said. “We’ve only seen him play in some clips, but from what I’ve seen he looks like a guy with potential to step up to that level.

“I’d wait until I see him play for us in that pro environment before he’s pushed forward to play any higher up, but I’ve really enjoyed watching him in training. He’s got a real physicality about his game, he reads the game really well, particularly defensively, and he’s got that sort of New Zealand confidence.

“Who knows? He could be the next to move up to the international level.”

Leinster: Jimmy O’Brien; Cian Kelleher, Rory O’Loughlin, Ciarán Frawley, Dave Kearney; Harry Byrne, Luke McGrath (c); Peter Dooley, Seán Cronin, Michael Bent, Devin Toner, Scott Fardy, Josh Murphy, Josh van der Flier, Scott Penny.

Subs: Dan Sheehan, Marcus Hanan, Tom Clarkson, Jack Dunne, Alex Soroka, Rowan Osborne, David Hawkshaw, Jamie Osborne.

Glasgow Warriors: Ollie Smith; Rufus McLean, Huw Jones, Sam Johnson, Cole Forbes; Adam Hastings, Jamie Dobie; Oli Kebble, Grant Stewart, Enrique Pieretto, Richie Gray, Leone Nakarawa, Rob Harley, Thomas Gordon, Ryan Wilson (c).

Subs: Johnny Matthews, Aki Seiuli, D’arcy Rae, Gregor Brown, TJ Ioane, Sean Kennedy, Ross Thompson, Robbie Fergusson.