Glasgow 2014: Forbes ready to embrace Scots’ rise

Rachel Forbes in action for the Scottish Thistles
Rachel Forbes in action for the Scottish Thistles
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It was Edinburgh’s Christmas lights that convinced Rachel Forbes she could make Scotland her home.

Now the Brisbane-born netball player wants to shine brightly in Glasgow and pull Scotland’s team to their highest-ever Commonwealth Games’ finish.

Forbes, 25, is a recent addition to the Scottish Thistles and qualifies through her Edinburgh-born mother Carol.

She will be as committed as any Scots-born player starting with the opener against St Lucia on July 25.

She is realistic enough to admit that getting amongst the medals is too big an ask given the dominance of New Zealand, Australia and England in the game, but Scotland have risen to No.11 in the world.

Forbes was good enough to play at state level for Queensland but making the Australian national side would have taken a huge leap. However, that makes her even more determined to show that her adopted country can stand shoulder to shoulder with some of the best.

“My mum’s side of the family are all Scottish and my grandmother had the thickest Scottish accent,” she recalls.

“I lived with relatives in Edinburgh when I first came here but I’ve since moved into a flat in Glasgow, where I got a job with Netball Scotland.

“I just fell in love with Scotland when I arrived. It’s a whole different culture and climate but it’s the accents I love the most!

“When I first landed in Edinburgh, it was at Christmas time and all the lights were up and I just thought it was such a beautiful place.

“I’ve travelled quite a bit since I came and been to the Isle of Skye and Orkney and I just love it.”

Her netball credentials are as good as any in the Scotland team since she started out playing in primary school.

“My twin sister Lauren played a lot of netball when she was young. I was doing gymnastics but it was starting to get a bit expensive.

“So I tried netball and just really got into it and played as much as I could – at school, at a club and eventually I got into the State teams and represented Queensland a few times at the Australian National League.

“From there, I looked into coming over to play in the English Superleague and joined Yorkshire Jets in Leeds two years ago.

“I met a couple of the Scottish girls and ended up coming up to Scotland to see my extended family.

“I went in on a Scottish national team session and went on to play in the Tri-Nation series in Samoa and the Cook Islands.

“It was unreal and when I heard about the Commonwealth Games trials, I thought, why not? That was how it all came about.”