Having headed out to Australia earlier this year, Geoff Parling helped the Rebels to a ninth-place finish on the overall log, just outside of what would have been the franchise’s first ever post-season appearance. That said, the ninth-place finish was the best record in the club’s eight-year history.
Having contributed on the pitch, the former England international and British and Irish Lion, who amassed 32 caps across the two sides, is now set to hang up the boots and enter the coaching arena, signing on as the Rebels’ lineout coach for the 2019 season.
The 35-year-old made over 250 appearances for Newcastle Falcons, Leicester Tigers and Exeter Chiefs during his time in England, winning three Gallagher Premiership titles in the process, two with Leicester and one with Exeter. He also enjoyed a short stint in Japan with Munakata Sanix Blues in the void between his Exeter contract ending and his 2018 contract with the Rebels starting.
Parling boasted an impressive Six Nations record with England, helping them win over 83% of the games he featured in, including a Triple Crown in 2014, but he never managed to lift the Six Nations trophy. The lock did, however, feature prominently on the British and Irish Lions successful tour to Australia in 2013, starting two of the three tests and coming off of the bench in the other.
The graduate of Newcastle University will now go about cutting his teeth in the coaching world, as he joins head coach David Wessel’s staff for the upcoming season. On the announcement, Wessel’s had the following to say.
“Both Nic [Henderson] and Geoff [Parling] have played rugby at the highest level and will add greater specialisation to our coaching group to help us best support our players to become the best version of themselves.”
“Nic has done such a great job developing himself as a coach in recent years and he has a great connection with his students. Geoff is newer to coaching, but he has the maturity and smarts to provide technical insight as well as the experience of winning cultures.”
“Both of Nic and Geoff have been around the team for a while now and they understand the high standards we have set for ourselves. They are well respected by the playing group and at the same time are known to be tough taskmasters. When the group re-assembles for pre-season, it won’t take long for the players to feel the increased intensity we are going to bring.”
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