Geoff Parling can't wait to experience the Lions tour to Australia

Last Updated: 01/05/13 9:31am

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Geoff Parling admits he is relishing the prospect of going Down Under with the British and Irish Lions squad this summer.

Parling will be one of six Leicester Tigers players travelling to Australia as part of Warren Gatland's 37-man squad.

The 29-year-old will join team-mates Manu Tuilagi, Ben Youngs, Dan Cole, Tom Youngs and Tom Croft for the trip, which he believes is a great achievement for the club.

"It's great news," Parling told Sky Sports. "Hopefully the experiences that we can get from different players and from playing in a different environment and against a different team will be good for us next season.

"He's done a lot for the England group, so gutted for him."
Geoff Parling on Chris Robshaw's omission

"If we can use all the experience to drive forward then it's great news."

Chris Robshaw was a notable omission from the squad and Parling admitted he felt disappointed for the England skipper.

"He's such a good bloke," said the lock. "You won't get many quality blokes like him and he's a quality player too. He's done a lot for the England group, so gutted for him."

Quality player

Gatland handed surprise call-up to 2005 Lions tourist Matt Stevens and Parling says the 30-year-old Saracens and England prop - who retired from international rugby last season - deserves his place in the squad.

"He's been playing well," he said. "He's obviously a quality player so I think he will be a good guy to have on tour with quite good banter in his own unique style so really pleased for him."

Meanwhile, Parling's team-mate Tom Croft revealed the Leicester players which made the squad were unaware of the news because director of rugby Richard Cockerill had kept them on the pitch for extra training.

"It is a feeling of disbelief," admitted Croft. "We were told half-hour after the actual announcement was made as 'Cockers' kept us on the pitch a bit longer. I am just made up.

"I am chuffed guys are involved from the club but we have to put it to the back of our minds now as we have a huge game against London Irish this weekend."

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