Parling faces uncertain future

Date published: September 24 2014

The rest of England lock Geoff Parling’s season is in doubt after he suffered his second concussion of the season over the weekend.

Leicester have vowed not to take any risks over the long-term health of the 30-year-old second row, who took a blow to the head in Saturday’s defeat by Bath.

The British and Irish Lions sustained two concussions last season was concussed again in the pre-season friendly against Edinburgh last month.

Leicester director of rugby Richard Cockerill said the club would wait on the advice of a neurological specialist before making any decisions on Parling’s future.

“We’re waiting for advice from the specialist, but he won’t be fit for London Irish on Saturday and he may need some down-time for obvious reasons,” said Cockerill.

“It’s a concern for his health. Playing is secondary.

“He had a concussion in the Six Nations, he had a concussion at the end of the season and now he’s had two in very quick succession in pre-season and at the start of the season. The bigger picture is Geoff’s well-being.

“He is doing the usual cog-sport protocols and everything else they do, and when you’re not symptomatic again you can go back to doing exercise and there’s a gradual progression back into full training. We will take some advice on that. You would like to think that with the right rest and expertise, he will be fine, but I don’t know.”

Leicester are very short on fit second rows as Louis Deacon, Ed Slater and Brad Thorn are all sidelined but Cockerill insisted there would be no pressure on Parling to play.

“I don’t want any of our players out there with potential brain injuries from concussions or whatever it may be because that’s not right,” said Cockerill.

“I need Geoff on the field but not to the detriment of his long-term health. If he needs a few weeks because that’s the right thing to do to get over this problem then we need to do that. There are some times when it’s only a game.”

The news comes as a further blow to Tigers, who a reeling from a series of injuries including England hooker Tom Youngs, wing Niall Morris (ankle), Manu Tuilagi (groin) and Anthony Allen (knee).