Two very successful years for Geoff Parling with Exeter Chiefs saw the second row end his time as a Premiership winner; a deserved accolade for the former British and Irish Lion, who had an outstanding final year for the Chiefs.
Instrumental to Exeter’s set pieces – particularly the line-out – Parling’s experience in the correct calls, and the driving maul from set pieces was most notable when the Chiefs drove over the white line in the dying stages against Saracens in the semi-final play-off at Sandy park.
Parling’s exit from the South West coast was alway to be expected, with the former Tigers man signing just a two-year contract in 2015. The second row was expected to join a side in Japan upon leaving Sandy Park, but his long-term future was yet to be decided.
However, this morning, Super Rugby side, Melbourne Rebels, have confirmed the 33-year-old will join the Australian side for the 2018 season.
“I’m excited about the opportunity to test myself in the Southern Hemisphere.
Hopefully I can add value to the Rebels, and help the team continue the great growth and profile of rugby in Victoria.”
— Geoff Parling
At 33, the value Parling still has to offer was made evident in the Chiefs’ 23-20 victory over Wasps. Still a big game player, and still with a great engine; with 54 England caps to the second rows name, Parling will add a wealth of experience to the Rebels engine room.
The signature of Parling should add some much needed good news for the Melbourne side, who currently lie bottom of the Australian conference. Parling will be hoping the Rebels are still playing their rugby in the top flight come next season.
The lock is certainly the Australian side’s gain, and Exeter’s loss.