British & Irish Lions 2013: Parling backs Gatland’s side to ‘pull together’

British & Irish Lions 2013: Geoff Parling says the tourists will have no problems lifting themselves ahead of the series decider

Alex Corbisiero
England forward Alex Corbisiero Photo: The Sport Review

Geoff Parling claims the British & Irish Lions will have no problems lifting themselves for their series decider against Australia in Sydney on Saturday.

Parling and co came agonisingly close to wrapping up the series against the Wallabies last weekend and had Leigh Halfpenny’s last-gasp penalty gone over, the Lions would have been celebrating their first series win for 16 years.

As it was, Halfpenny’s kick fell short, Australia won 16-15 and pulled level and it will all come down to Sydney, where Parling will again start alongside new captain Alun Wyn Jones.

And Parling, who started all five of England’s Six Nations matches this season, has urged the Lions to take the second chance presented to them.

“It’s going to take the whole squad to pull together,” said Parling.

“These things are hard to take and we feel devastated, but we feel like we have another opportunity. It’s all part of this tour and being professional.

“You have to get yourself back up for it again and go and play, and certainly if you can’t get up for the deciding game of the tour, then you have a bit of a problem. I am sure we will get there.

“For a lot of us in there it was the biggest game of our career to date, and to come so close to winning the series it’s more than hard to take.

“Andy Irvine (Lions manager) spoke afterwards in the changing rooms that we have another crack at it, that we are almost in the same position we were on Saturday morning, that we can still win the series. “We’ve got to get ourselves up for it. The series is still there for the taking. We have to make amends.

“We had chances to manage the game a bit better.”

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