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Home sweet home for Parling

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Geoff Parling has more reasons than most to look forward to back-to-back weekends at Welford Road, starting with the final pre-season fixture against Ulster Rugby this Saturday.

The Tigers second-rower ended last season with an Aviva Premiership winner’s medal but hardly had time to celebrate before heading to Hong Kong and Australia with the British & Irish Lions.

During seven weeks away, his wife gave birth to a baby daughter, and Parling left his team-mates celebrating an historic series victory Down Under as he headed home on the day after the third Test.

He had a month at home before returning to training with Tigers and spent last week at a club training camp before playing in Saturday’s win in Jersey.

Now just one game remains – against Ulster at Welford Road – before Tigers start the season with a home game against Worcester Warriors on Sunday, September 8.

“It’s been an interesting summer,” Parling said after playing his part in a 69-7 win over Championship side Jersey which included a first-half try for the forward.

“I’m looking forward to getting back to some ‘normality’, back to my own bed, back to the family and back to a routine at home.

“That will be nice and it’s good to get a couple of games together at Welford Road against Ulster and Worcester.

“It’s been great to have a proper break in the summer and be at home with the family. The whole Lions experience was great, but we’re back home now and the season is just a couple of weeks away.”

Parling played 40 minutes, alongside fit-again Louis Deacon, in Jersey after coming through last week’s training camp.

“It was a good run-out for all the boys,” he said. “Credit to Jersey, they came out and gave it a crack. We did quite well and one of the really important things is that everybody came through unscathed, which is a massive ‘plus’ with the new season two weeks away.”