Australia bring in former Lion to strengthen line-out before 2025 tour

Geoff Parling during his time with Melbourne Rebels in 2018
Geoff Parling will now work with Australia and go up against Steve Borthwick - Getty Images/Michael Dodge

Geoff Parling, the former England second-row and set-piece expert, has been confirmed as Australia’s new line-out coach.

Parling, 40, has been based in Australia since joining the Melbourne Rebels as a player back in 2018, and previously worked as a Wallabies assistant coach under Dave Rennie back in 2020.

He will now go up against England head coach Steve Borthwick later this year, another line-out guru, when the Wallabies face England at Twickenham on November 9. The pair did not overlap as England team-mates, with Borthwick’s last cap coming in the 2010 Six Nations and Parling making his debut in 2012.

Part of the British and Irish Lions series win over Australia back in 2013, Parling is currently the Melbourne Rebels forwards coach and has been an assistant for six seasons. He won 29 caps for England, while his final game in English rugby came in the 2017 Premiership final with Exeter Chiefs, defeating Wasps in extra time.

Parling will link up with Joe Schmidt, the former Ireland head coach who took over from Eddie Jones following last year’s Rugby World Cup.

“I spoke to Joe a couple times when he came to the Rebels. I heard a lot of good things about Joe in the past so I’m really excited to work with him on the coaching team,” Parling said. “He’s very level-headed, consistently sees the game and preps well. I think he’s good on basics and getting the fundamentals right. Once you get those, a little bit of brilliance will come.

“I’m pretty familiar with the majority of players that will come in from either coaching or coaching against them regularly. I feel like the little bits of differences we have in Super Rugby teams can be well put together and aligned, we can have a great force as a forward pack at the Wallabies.”

Schmidt said of Parling: “Geoff has spent more than 20 years, playing and coaching in the professional game. His understanding of the line-out, along with his Super Rugby knowledge, and previous experience with the Wallabies will add value to our coaching group.”