Rebels land former British and Irish Lion Parling

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

The Rebels have landed their biggest name in recent memory, signing former British and Irish Lions lock Geoff Parling until the end of 2018.

Parling is a teammate of Dave Dennis at Exeter and played a big part in their run to the English Premiership title.

He has played 32 Tests for England and played in all three British and Irish Lions Tests in Australia in 2013 - starting in the last two matches.

This is a significant signing for Melbourne.Dave Dennis and Geoff Parling celebrate winning the 2017 English Premiership. Photo: Getty ImagesIt is their first since the ARU lifted the moratorium on player contracting and will add hope for Rebels fans that are reading the tea leaves, as Parling would be taking an enormous risk in leaving Exeter for Melbourne if the future of the franchise was still in question.

"Geoff’s signing is a strategic recruitment for the club as we look to evolve our squad and program for 2018 and beyond,” new Rebels CEO Baden Stephenson said.

“Geoff boasts a wealth of international and domestic experience in successful rugby programs so he will contribute to the strong leadership at the club, along with his world class lineout skills and hard running qualities which will complement our squad.”Parling has played more than 250 domestic caps in England. Photo: Getty ImagesParling is a set piece specialist and that is an area the Rebels have not excelled in this season.

While he has only signed for one year, the 33-year-old's expertise will do wonders in aiding a lineout and scrum that rates 16th in Super Rugby this year.

"After some really enjoyable years in the Premiership, I'm excited about the opportunity to test myself in the Southern Hemisphere that Super Rugby brings,” Parling said.

“Hopefully I can add value to the Rebels, and help the team continue the great growth and profile of rugby in Victoria."

Parling will join the squad in January 2018.