Super Rugby Pacific: Coles Forbes ready to make his mark

Cole Forbes’ international rugby future is still wide open.

The Blue’s utility returned to New Zealand last year after three seasons with the Glasgow Warriors, where he earned a call up to the Scottish national side.

However, Forbes never played for the Scots, something you would expect to bring an element of disappointment, but he is happy still being a free agent.

“I was lucky enough to make a few squads and few training camps but never got capped which was sort of a blessing, being able to come back here and not be an international player.”

Now qualified to play for Scotland or the All Blacks, he said he was yet to pledge his international allegiance.

“I haven’t thought too much about that at the moment. Just worried about getting game time for the Blues, that stuff sort of takes care of itself once you play good rugby.”

He said the move back home had been refreshing, and he had no immediate plans to return to the Lowlands.

“I’m enjoying my time back here and I’d love to stay here for family and friends . For now, to focus on the job at hand this next few weeks, I’m not really looking too far ahead.”

Forbes said rubbing shoulders with the likes of Scotland superstars Finn Russell and Duhan van der Merwe was an invaluable learning experience but he was delighted to be back playing the Kiwi brand.

“It’s just a different style of rugby here, nicer weather and playing with people that like to run and throw the ball around. Up there it is a lot slower paced, bigger bodies, of a lot of contestable kicks, scrumming for penalties. It’s been enjoyable coming back to Super Rugby, the ruck speed is high, there’s not as much kicking and the boys are having a go from everywhere.”

He said the decision to move to Europe was a bit of a ‘spur of the moment’ call.

“I had just come off on NPC season, probably hadn’t had as much game time as I would have hoped for. And then one of the boys who had been over in Glasgow figured out that I had a grandparent born in Scotland, so I got on the phone, and they offered me a trial, I went out there for a few weeks, and then ended up just staying for a couple of years.”

This despite more than a few in the then 21-year-old’s ear questioning the wisdom of the move.

Cole Forbes scores a try for the Glasgow Warrior's in the United Rugby Championship.

“I enjoyed every moment of it and obviously it helped my rugby career. I was keen to do it. I got plenty of games on and learnt a lot. You just back yourself and go and do it.”

Schooled at Tauranga Boys College before starting his club rugby at Te Puke, Forbes said he was a proud Bay of Plenty man.

He relished any chance to wear the blue and gold, and hoped this season he would get to play alongside his younger brother, Grady.

“It’s always cool to play for the team you grew up watching and obviously my little brother got a run at the end of the season, but I was injured so hopefully, this season coming up, I can get a run with them.”

Forbes has again been named on the bench for the Blue’s highly anticipated clash with the struggling Crusaders and he said they were desperate to avenge their loss to the eventual champions last year.

“After that semi final loss last year, the boys are wanting to put their best foot forward. We spoke about it pre-season, it’s been hurting ever since, this is our chance to make it right.”

Despite their horror start to the season, Forbes said they would not underestimate their Southern rivals,

“At the end of the day, it’s the Crusaders. They have been the form team for the last few years and they’re gonna turn up on their day and do the things that they’ve done well for last few years, so we can’t take them lightly at all. We’ve just got to go out there and play our way.”

With the likes of Mark Telea, Zarn Sullivan and Caleb Clarke in the ranks, Forbes has plenty of competition to lock down a starting spot, but he was content with his place on the pine.

“This is such a good squad especially in the back three that I’m just happy to be in the in the 23 and bring that energy when I come on.”

He said the deep stocks in the backline drives both himself and his teammates.

“We’re a close group, it’s not really like a competition. we are all on the same team and even the boys that aren’t playing each week, they’re obviously going up against the 15 every Tuesday, Thursday. it’s everyone’s grind.”

Chasing a first title since 2003, Forbes believed they had the talent to finally break the two decade long drought.

“We have just got to play our style of rugby. When we’re firing we’re definitely one of the best teams in the comp.”

According to the news on Radio New Zealand

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