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Ex-British & Irish Lion completes Wallabies’ full-time coaching group

By Finn Morton
Geoff Parling, Assistant Coach (Forwards) of the Rebels speaks to players during a Melbourne Rebels Open Training Session at Gosch's Paddock on December 16, 2023 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Kelly Defina/Getty Images)

Former British and Irish Lions lock Geoff Parling is the final piece of Joe Schmidt’s full-time coaching puzzle with the Wallabies, as confirmed on Thursday.

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Parling, 40, has been a forwards coach at the Melbourne Rebels for the last six years but will leave that role at the end of the current Super Rugby Pacific season to join Schmidt’s team.

The England international has experience within the Wallabies set up having previously worked as an assistant coach under Dave Rennie during the 2020 test season.

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Parling joins coaching guru Mike Cron, fan favourite Laurie Fisher, and former Ireland and Rebels analyst Eoin Toolan as assistants under head coach Joe Schmidt.

“It’s an honour to coach the Wallabies and to work alongside Joe and the coaching group he has put together,” Parling said in a statement.

“The events on the horizon for the Wallabies and Australian rugby represent an incredible opportunity for everyone involved in the game.

“I will look to work hard with the Rebels through until the end of Super Rugby, then knuckled down and helped the Wallabies push forward.”

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Parling played 29 test matches for England and was also part of the Lions side that defeated Australia in a thrilling series 2-1 almost 12 years ago in 2013.

After moving to Australia as a player with the Melbourne Rebels in 2018, Parling moved into coaching a year later and has been involved in that set up ever since.

“Geoff has spent more than 20 years, playing and coaching in the professional game,” head coach Joe Schmidt added.

“His understanding of the lineout, along with his Super Rugby knowledge, and previous experience with the Wallabies will add value to our coaching group.”

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Joe Schmidt and the rest of the coaching team will usher in a new year for the Wallabies from July when Australia host Wales in two test matches on July 6 & 13.

Australia will also play Georgia at Sydney’s Allianz Stadium before turning their focus to two massive challenges against reigning world champions South Africa in Brisbane and Perth.

The Wallabies will take on Georgia, South Africa and New Zealand at family-friendly kick-off times this year on home soil.

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finn 65 days ago

I wonder if Parling was ever on England’s radar as a coach?

Obviously Borthwick is a great lineout coach, but I do worry he might be taking on too much as both head coach and forwards coach.

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