Glasgow Warriors bring in Forbes
Glasgow Warriors have added talented former New Zealand U20s star Cole Forbes to the squad on a permanent basis, with the back-three player putting pen to paper on a multi-year deal following a successful trial at the club.
The former junior All Black has been training with his new team-mates at Scotstoun since the end of January, and has impressed Head Coach Danny Wilson and his coaching team with both his talent and work ethic.
He becomes the third back-three player aged 21 or younger to agree terms with the club in the last week, joining Rufus McLean and Ollie Smith in committing their future to the Warriors.
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.
Indeed, as the 21-year-old explains, a former Warrior played a key role in helping Wilson’s men get the inside track on his signature.
“Hugh Blake and I played Mitre10 together for Bay of Plenty, and he got me in contact with an agent up here,” Forbes told glasgowwarriors.org.
“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.”
Scottish-qualified courtesy of his grandfather, Forbes was part of the New Zealand squad for the 2019 World Rugby U20 Championship alongside future All Black Tupou Vaa’i and Super Rugby Aotearoa winners Cullen Grace and Leicester Fainga’anuku.
Also comfortable playing at fly-half, he made three appearances in the tournament including starting two of New Zealand’s three group stage matches.
When the opportunity arose to make the switch north, however, it proved too good to pass up for Forbes.
“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.”
On the signing of Forbes head coach, Danny 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.”
Forbes’ first opportunity to pull on the Glasgow jersey comes this weekend, as the Warriors travel to defending champions Leinster on Sunday evening. If selected, it’s a chance that the back-three is ready to take with both hands.
“It’s a challenge I’m looking forward to,” he said.
“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.”