Geoff Parling, the former England and British and Irish Lions lock, has been named as the new forwards coach of Australia.
Parling played for Newcastle Falcons, Leicester Tigers and Exeter Chiefs in England before representing Japanese side Sanix Blues and then the Melbourne Rebels Super Rugby franchise.
The 36-year-old, a renowned lineout technician, had been coaching with the Rebels under Dave Wessels and will now join Dave Rennie’s Wallabies set-up ahead of two matches against New Zealand in October.
Although Brumbies head coach Dan McKellar was Rennie’s first choice for the role, and Laurie Fisher was also reportedly approached, the New Zealander declared Parling as the “obvious choice” after McKellar opted to stay in his post.
“My thinking with Dan [McKellar] is that I was looking for someone beyond my time,” Rennie told News Corp Australia.
“Dan has the ability to coach the Wallabies, so the thinking was to get him into the team and have him ready to go post the  World Cup. But obviously that is not going to happen the way I planned it.
“We are going to go with someone who has the skill-set to do the job and to have an intimate knowledge of the players, so we have asked Geoff Parling to come in.
“He is a very highly-respected coach among the boys. He is the obvious choice.”
Parling, who won 29 England caps and played all three Tests of the 2013 Lions series in Australia, will join Scott Wisemantel (attack), Matt Taylor (defence), Petrus du Plessis (scrum) to bolster Rennie’s line-up of coaches.
And it will be a baptism of fire for the man who was coaching Taunton Titans, during his playing days with Exeter, as recently as 2017.
Australia, who lost to England in the quarter-final of Rugby World Cup 2019, face the All Blacks in Wellington and then Auckland on October 11 and 18.
“I’ve really enjoyed helping develop the players we’ve had in Melbourne, so to now get the opportunity to join Dave’s coaching team for this Test season is a real honour,” read a statement from Parling.
“There is some great talent here, but we won’t get anywhere without hard work. I have high expectations of the group and am looking forward to seeing them rip in.”