Planet Rugby

Improved Parling ready for Dublin

08th February 2013 19:57

Share:

geoff parling england

Perfectionist: Geoff Parling

England lock Geoff Parling in many ways is the epitome of the Stuart Lancaster era - grounded, honest, hungry - but quietly confident.

The Leicester Tigers second row has taken the opportunity in international rugby handed to him by Lancaster with open arms.

Sunday will represent his 14th Test since coming off the bench as part of England's victory over Scotland a year ago, and one year on Parling found himself latching on to Owen Farrell's looped pass for a first Test try in a convincing victory over the same opponents at Twickenham.

A sign of a significant improvement - but Parling knows England can do better.

"Scotland scored a try early doors from a kick chase, which was a problem we had against Australia last year," said Parling.

"It's areas like that we need to tighten up - there's not one glaring area in our game at fault but by making our overall game five to ten percent better, we'll become more difficult to beat.

"As a pack you want be known as one of the best around - at the scrum, lineout and breakdown and we're happy so far, although there are always things that you can work on. You want to be feared as a pack and I think we're heading in the right direction, but there is a lot to work on."

That compulsion to perfect small errors will stand Parling in good stead going forward. It has also been a key factor behind his rise as a player, particularly since joining Leicester in 2009. The experiences Parling has picked up at Welford Road, from playing in Premiership finals and Heineken Cup matches, has unquestionably improved his game.

"Losing a lineout in the first half wasn't good enough and we do get frustrated," added Parling.

"At the same time every time the ball goes off the pitch and it's opposition ball, that's a turnover opportunity. Sunday is another challenge for this team. We're full of confidence at the moment but there have been things that we have worked on this week."

Facing Ireland will be Parling's fourth start alongside England's latest boy-wonder in Joe Launchbury, with the young Wasps lock making waves so far in his fledgling career.

"He looks freakishly boyish. He's a good player and at 22 he looks like he's played loads of Tests," stated Parling.

"He's very receptive and good to play with. In Courtney [Lawes] as well you have our most experienced lock at Test level and he did well when he came on against Scotland, so we have a good mix."

Facing Ireland will also mean a reunion between Parling and his old Newcastle Falcons team-mate Mike McCarthy, the Connacht forward who is set to join Leinster next season.

"He's an odd character but a good lad, very mobile and played a lot of six with me at Newcastle. Donnacha Ryan is playing very well too and they're both part of a very decent Irish pack," noted Parling.

That same Irish pack put the steamroller over Wales in the opening half last weekend, a warning to Parling and England that they cannot afford to be off the beat when Sunday's clash gets underway.

His side have shown a great fluidity and tempo in recent matches, but for Parling the key has been England's improved discipline, with the low penalty count against Scotland almost as pleasing as a well-run lineout.

"We cannot allow an easy try, especially in Dublin," said Parling.

"We have spoken about the first 20 minutes and putting a marker down early, but we won't treat it different to any other game. You can do too much thinking about the opposition so we will focus on ourselves.

"Sometimes in a game it might not go your way, but the pleasing thing from last week was only conceding seven penalties and that comes from working hard on our discipline - from looking at the opposition and making sure we're all on the same wavelength.

"We've spoken about backing up the good things with more good things - that is what will get us results."

by Ben Coles
@bencoles_

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Top 14
Friday , August 29
Clermont Auvergne vs Montpellier20:45
Saturday , August 30
La Rochelle vs Toulouse14:45
Lyon vs Brive18:30
Oyonnax vs Stade Francais18:30
Castres vs Bay Of Plenty18:30
Grenoble vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Racing Metro Paris vs Toulon20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , August 29
Pumas vs Sharks19:10
Saturday , August 30
Griquas vs Cheetahs15:00
Blue Bulls vs Western Province17:05
Eastern Province Kings vs Lions19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Thursday , August 28
Canterbury vs NorthlandCanterbury vs Northland Preview
Friday , August 29
Wellington vs ManawatuWellington vs Manawatu Preview
Saturday , August 30
Counties Manukau vs Hawkes Bay04:35
Southland vs Otago17:35
North Harbour vs Waikato09:35
Sunday , August 31
Taranaki vs Bay Of Plenty14:35
Auckland vs Tasman16:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Wednesday, August 27
Waikato 17 - 46 TaranakiWaikato vs Taranaki Report
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu 7 - 35 AucklandManawatu vs Auckland Report
Bay Of Plenty 27 - 56 TasmanBay Of Plenty vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 23
New Zealand 51 - 20 AustraliaNew Zealand vs Australia Report
Argentina 31 - 33 South AfricaArgentina vs South Africa Report
More Rugby Championship results
Top 14
Brive 6 - 21 Clermont AuvergneBrive vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Stade Francais 23 - 20 Lyon
Bordeaux-Begles 30 - 21 Racing Metro Paris
Montpellier 20 - 17 GrenobleMontpellier vs Grenoble Report
Toulon 60 - 19 La Rochelle
Bayonne 38 - 12 Oyonnax
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Blue Bulls 30 - 25 Eastern Province KingsBlue Bulls vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Sharks 19 - 16 CheetahsSharks vs Cheetahs Report
Western Province 27 - 14 LionsWestern Province vs Lions Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Northland 35 - 5 WellingtonNorthland vs Wellington Report
Counties Manukau 29 - 25 OtagoCounties Manukau vs Otago Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Friday , August 22
Toulouse 35 - 6 CastresToulouse vs Castres Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Pumas 33 - 15 GriquasPumas vs Griquas Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Waikato 27 - 58 CanterburyWaikato vs Canterbury Report
Hawkes Bay 29 - 26 TaranakiHawkes Bay vs Taranaki Report
Thursday , August 21
North Harbour 21 - 25 Southland
Sunday , August 17
Tasman 35 - 15 Hawkes BayTasman vs Hawkes Bay Report
Northland 23 - 28 Manawatu
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 16
Australia 12 - 12 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
South Africa 13 - 6 ArgentinaSouth Africa vs Argentina Report
More Rugby Championship results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00