The Offload chats to… Geoff Parling

March 16, 2017

Some teams target the international break as a time to pick up additional points, but for the Exeter Chiefs it’s been business as usual.

Their attitude hasn’t changed over the last month and a half, and neither have their results. They’re unbeaten in the league since late October and have the Anglo-Welsh Cup final to look forward to this weekend. We recently caught up with lock Geoff Parling to chat about the Chiefs form, England’s winning run and The Lions tour this summer.

Who do you think has performed well during the RBS 6 Nations and is a real contender for The Lions squad?

Everyone’s been talking about Owen Farrell for a spot in the Test side and I would have to agree with them. He brings a lot of steadiness and direction to the England team and this will definitely be needed out in New Zealand.

Whilst talking of The Lions squad, who do you think is in the line for the captaincy and why?

To be honest, I don’t know. What I do know is that they need to be a definite starter, somebody who’s a good talker and who’ll bring organisation to the team. From what I’ve seen and know of Faz, he’s got to be in contention.

If Italy lose to Scotland this weekend in the RBS 6 Nations, then they’ll pick up the wooden spoon for the 7th time in 10 years. Do you think it’s time to consider having other nations for the tournament?

I think now with Conor O’Shea just going in, Italy almost just need a bit of time. He’s going to trying to change not only how they play, but the structures within Italy. Treviso and Zebre generally finish towards the bottom of the PRO12, so Conor is probably reviewing what is happening here as he looks to improve the national side. Michele Campagnaro is an exceptional player, so there is obviously some talent within Italy.

What has been your RBS 6 Nations ‘Game of the Tournament’ so far?

I would probably have to go with Wales vs England in Cardiff – it was what you’d call a proper Test match! It was physical and direct, there was a passionate crowd behind it and England just pipped it at the end.

“Dublin is a difficult place to go and Ireland are a very good team, but England’s performance last weekend showed just what they can do.”

The Chiefs are unbeaten since the start of the RBS 6 Nations. Do you target this time of the season to pick up wins?

Not really, we target every game to win. We’re unbeaten in the league since October so it’s just about trying to stretch that for as long as we can. We’ve been going really well and I think our performance in the Anglo-Welsh Cup last weekend showed just that. We had a jittery start to the season but since then we’ve been picking up not just wins, but bonus points wins. We’ll just keep trying to do that and keep knocking off those teams.

Finally, do you think England have a good chance to take their unbeaten run to 19 this weekend?

I certainly hope so! Dublin is a difficult place to go and Ireland are a very good team, but England’s performance last weekend showed just what they can do.

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