- England lock striving for improvement in his game
- "I don’t want to be the guy with just a few caps, I want to keep going" – Parling
Geoff Parling is, by his own admission, his harshest critic and despite ending England’s game against Wales at the weekend as the top tackler, the second row wants to learn from his mistakes and ensure he extends his international career.
Parling made his first start for his country in the 19-12 defeat to Wales at Twickenham on Saturday, winning his third cap in the process.
But the 28-year-old is determined to work hard to retain his place in the starting XV as England seek to return to winning ways against France on March 11.
"I’m loving being involved but I don’t want to be the guy who has had one start at Twickenham, had three caps [and] played however many games," he told RFUtv. "You want to keep going, you want to get a whole number of Tests under your belt and you want to win. You want to get trophies.
"We want to, and we need to, improve as a squad. We are definitely doing that and then we need to get some more wins."
While the Leicester Tigers lock is proud to have represented his country in front of home fans, he is already working to improve in training ahead of the clash in Paris.
"I was pleased but I’m never really happy," he said. "With rugby, I always look at the bad aspects and certainly there are still some things to improve on. I was pleased and proud to be involved in that day because I think the team worked really hard for each other, but my main feeling at the end was a bit empty because we were just that frustrated.
"I’m always a bit critical. I always think as a player there are always things to improve on."
Photo: Getty Images
Parling believes that reflecting and taking stock of good personal performances are best left to the end of the season or the end of a player’s career. Now, he says, is the time for the squad to learn from their mistakes and he is confident they can return to winning ways against France after their two opening victories in the 2012 RBS 6 Nations.
He added: "We have reviewed and from the game we are incredibly frustrated. All we’ve got to do now is learn from those mistakes. We feel, as a team and as a squad, that we are on an upwards path.
"We got ourselves into a winning position – why didn’t we close out the game, why didn’t we win the game? We have to make sure we don’t make the same mistakes again. As long as we take that and we go into the game against France and have a positive attitude which we will, with loads of belief and we learn from those mistakes we think we can win."
He is pleased with how the squad is developing and says there is a "brilliant atmosphere" in training, but he also acknowledges that, after just five weeks together, the squad are adapting and getting used to the different ways that players approach and play the game.
"We are definitely still getting used to each other," he explained. "From my point of view, how I might organise people in the lineout for who is jumping and who is lifting. So, as long as we still learn those lessons, we can only go forward."