Australia’s new coach Dave Rennie has appointed former England lock Geoff Parling as his forwards coach for his first season in charge, Rugby Australia said on Friday.
Parling played 29 tests for his country and another three for the British and Irish Lions on their triumphant tour of Australia in 2013.
The 39-year-old has most recently been working as forwards coach of the Melbourne Rebels in Super Rugby AU, helping guide the club to their first playoff berth.
“I’ve really enjoyed helping develop the players we’ve had in Melbourne, so to now get the opportunity to join Dave’s coaching team for this test season is a real honour,” Parling said in a news release.
“There is some great talent here but we won’t get anywhere without hard work. I have high expectations of the group and am looking forward to seeing them rip in.”
Parling joins attack coach Scott Wisemantel, South African scrum coach Petrus Du Plessis and defence coach Matt Taylor on Rennie’s staff.
Rennie, with an eye to succession planning, had hoped to bring in Dan McKellar to look after Australia’s lineout but the ACT Brumbies head coach preferred to stay in Canberra and focus on the Super Rugby team. “We’re very lucky to get the services of someone of Geoff’s ability at such short notice, especially considering he already has an intimate knowledge of the players,” the New Zealander said.
“He is a good man. He’s technically very strong around lineout and maul and he has impressed me with his work ethic to get up to speed over the last two weeks.”
Parling will return to the Rebels after the international season, which starts with two Bledisloe Cup test in New Zealand in October followed by the Rugby Championship on home soil in November and December.