Former England second-row Geoff Parling believes that Ireland have shown that the All Blacks are beatable and that “they’re just 15 blokes on the pitch”.
Parling, who is set to take over a coaching role with the Melbourne Rebels for the coming Super Rugby season and was part of the last England side to beat the All Blacks, reveals his frustration not only with his own country but all international teams for how they perform against the world’s number one ranked side.
“I’ve always been frustrated in the past, maybe not just the northern hemisphere teams but anyone playing New Zealand,” Parling told Stuff.
“The way they get spoken about in the press after the games.
“You get beaten off them, well that’s not good enough, because you’ve lost an international game regardless of how good they are.
“You have to respect them but Ireland have certainly shown they’re just 15 blokes on the pitch.
“They’re very good rugby playing blokes but it’s still just 15 blokes.”
The same frustration applies to the Wallabies who had a dreadful 2018. Parling in his new coaching role will now experience Australian rugby on the other side of the ball first hand but he cites Ireland’s series win over the Wallabies last summer as an example that Michael Cheika’s side have the building blocks in place to be a very good team but lack functioning as a unit to the same extent as sides like Ireland.
“They’ve got athletes.
“When they played Ireland I’d say if you looked at the natural, born ability of some of the athletes in the Wallaby team, it’s probably bigger than most of the Irish team.
“It’s just getting these athletes and working out how best to use them and getting them functioning as a team because that’s what Ireland did to beat the All Blacks.”
Parling departed for a playing role with the Rebels after his last stint in English rugby with the Exeter Chiefs. He has spent the last few months mixing playing and coaching in Japan before he hangs up his boots this month to take up a coaching role with the Melbourne Super Rugby outfit.