BEATING Exeter Chiefs at Scotstoun last month was a big moment for Glasgow Warriors, demonstrating that if they play to their potential and keep their cool when the pressure is on then they are capable of matching and bettering the best sides in Europe.  

However, winger Cole Forbes recognises that producing that performance and result at home will count for little if they can’t back it up in this Saturday’s Champions Cup pool phase return leg at Sandy Park. A defeat would not be disastrous for Warriors, but victory would all but guarantee qualification into the last 16 of the competition and send out a booming declaration of intent to the rest of Europe. 

 “If you want to be the best team you have to take down the best team,” said the 22-year-old. “You look forward to these games – these are the ones you want to play in and do well in – you put a cross next to this game at the start of the year. 

“Exeter see themselves as one of the best teams in the Premiership so if we can go down there and do well, it shows that we can be one of the best teams in Europe as well. 

 “We’ve previewed this week and know what’s going to come – It will be similar to last time,” he added. “But they’ll be a bit more on edge after losing the last one – they’ll want to come back harder and show the team they really are.  

“So, we know what’s coming and we just have to play tactically, get in the right areas of the pitch, then take our opportunities like we did the last time.” 

Forbes arrived in Scotland almost exactly a year ago having previously played for New Zealand under-20s. He qualifies for Scotland through his grandfather and was part of the national training squad for last summer’s three-match schedule, before it was aborted due to Covid. He did not make it into the Autumn training squad and recognises that featuring in the Six Nations long-shot given the level of competition in the back-three – but is generally happy with how his career is progressing. 

“It’s definitely gone a lot better than I had hoped when I first got here,” he reflected. “When I first arrived, I was only here on trial so I thought it would only be for three months and that I would struggle to get game-time, but I’m lucky that Danny [Wilson] has given me an opportunity and I’ve loved every minute of it so far. 

“In the summer when I got the chance to dip my toe and get in the [Scotland] camp I was really excited. At the moment, I’m just focusing on playing well for Glasgow and the Scotland stuff will take care of itself.  

“There’s heaps of talented outside backs in the Scotland set-up so for me it’s just play well here and if you get selected, you get selected.”