Geoff Parling determined to stake claim for Test place in Melbourne
Last Updated: June 24, 2013 3:36am
Geoff Parling: 'This game is probably my last chance to try and force my way into the Test team'
Geoff Parling is determined to make the most of his chance to stake a claim for a Test place having been named British and Irish Lions captain for the game against the Melbourne Rebels.
The Leicester lock will lead the tourists on Tuesday, less than 24 hours after he made a Lions Test debut off the replacements' bench.
Paul O'Connell is being treated for an arm injury so Parling could yet make his full debut in the second Test in Melbourne on Saturday.
"I don't think I need extra motivation," he said. "This game on Tuesday is probably my last chance to try and force my way into the Test team. I don't think I need any more motivation than that.
"I am very pleased to be starting on Tuesday. No-one likes to be on the bench, no matter what sort of game it is. You want to start and be involved.
"Tuesday is a big opportunity for all the guys that are playing. It's obviously important to keep the momentum going. The last midweek game didn't go to plan, so we've got a bit of a point to prove.
"You're only going to press your (Test) claim if the team does well. If the team plays poorly, there is not a chance you are going to get in that Test team."
Parling will have extra cause for celebration should he make the starting XV next weekend as his wife Elle gave birth to daughter May Rose last Thursday.