HOT on the heels of agreeing terms with former Scotland Under-20s back-three stars Rufus McLean and Ollie Smith, Glasgow Warriors head coach Danny Wilson has reinforced his antipodean influence in that area with the signature of former New Zealand U20s star Cole Forbes on a ‘multi-year’ deal.
The 21-year-old has been training at Scotstoun since the end of January, and is expected to be part of the match-day squad for this Sunday’s trip to Leinster.
Born in Pukekohe, Forbes first caught the eye when helping Bay of Plenty to the Jock Hobbs Memorial National U19 tournament in New Zealand, before going on to make his senior debut for the province in the Mitre10 Cup. A now deleted post on his instagram account indicates that he enjoys hunting in his spare time.
Forbes, who is Scottish-qualified through his grandfather, was part of the New Zealand squad for the 2019 World Rugby U20 Championship.
“Hugh Blake [the former Glasgow Warriors and Scotland 7s squad member] and I played Mitre10 together for Bay of Plenty, and he got me in contact with an agent up here,” explained Forbes, who can also play stand-off. “They put me in touch with Danny and the coaches at Glasgow, who were keen to take me on trial. Luckily it’s gone really well and I’m keen to repay the faith they’ve shown in me.”
“Glasgow’s a club and a city that’s got a proud rugby history, both professionally and back in the amateur era,” he explained. “I always wanted to go overseas with my rugby if the opportunity came up, and Glasgow were keen to bring me over and have a look at me.
“All the boys have been great since I arrived. They’ve all really helped me out – coming in halfway through a season is always difficult but they’ve helped me fit in really well.”
“The style of rugby is definitely different to back in New Zealand – there’s a lot more kicking up here so I’ve been making sure my game under the high ball is a big focus in training.
“It’s a really exciting time to join the club, and I can’t wait for my first opportunity to run out in a Glasgow shirt. I want to show what I can do and thank the Glasgow coaches for giving me the chance every time I represent this proud city.”
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Wilson said: “Cole has really impressed us since joining in January. He’s a back three player with pace, good footwork and has shown a defensive physical presence already in training
“He joins us with experience playing in the Mitre10 Cup and has previously represented New Zealand U20s. Cole has worked hard in training and shown a lot of promise. We look forward to seeing what he can do in the Warriors jersey.”