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England lock Parling to coach Rebels pack

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Wednesday, January 9, 2019    Getty Images

The 29-Test veteran played for the Rebels last year in 11 games but it was during an off-season stint in Japan, where he suffered more injury issues that he decided to switch to coaching.

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That was an area of the game he had been thinking about more during the latter stages of his playing career.

"My body was busted anyway, my shoulder was no good so I thought it was about time to get into coaching. A part of me would have liked to have kept playing, but it was the right time to move on," he told melbournerebels.com.

Parling, who also made three appearances for the Lions, said his experience with Leicester had been important in his development as a lock and he would use the training sessions undertaken there as the blueprint for his approach in coaching.

"Just being in the environment at Leicester was a very important move for me. I moved there when I was 25, I craved a real winning environment and I don't think you would've had a tougher environment in the world.

"It was brutally honest and very tough; the forward sessions were known to be very lively and I absolutely loved it," he said.

Instilling an attitude of going into every game with a winning mentality would be part of his approach with the Rebels.

He had learned that at Leicester when it was one of Europe's best-performing teams.
"When I was at Leicester, we'd lose by a point away to a big club, and it would be like a death in the family because of that expectation to win.

"It was like that every game, but it was something I thrived off," he said.

Parling believes he won't be affected by the short time period between playing and then coaching former teammates.

"I think it's different for me, because I've only been here for six months as a player.

"I'm also significantly older than a lot of the guys in the changeroom and I certainly felt that on day one.

"It's probably not as bad as someone who's going to coach guys he's grown up with for 10 years. I'd imagine that'd be a bit harder," he said.

The Rebels were looking towards the Super Rugby playoffs and his aim was to get the best out of the players.

"I'm very big on doing certain things which will benefit the team, and if it isn't how you would usually buy into, it's something that you just have to do for the team.

"Success for me is we've got to be better than last year. We are here to perform, and we need to get into good habits. Once you get on a roll and you win, you get used to it, and it's a good thing from the environments I've been in.

"The best thing I can do for the players now is to be the best coach I possibly can be," he said.