Geoff Parling: England players seemed united at World Cup

By Brent PilnickBBC Sport
Geoff Parling
Geoff Parling started all four of England's World Cup pool matches at second-row

England forward Geoff Parling says the squad seemed united during the World Cup, despite reports to the contrary.

Full-back Mike Brown said last week he had lost all trust in his team-mates following claims that some players questioned the selection of Sam Burgess in preference to Luther Burrell.

"The area we did seem quite tight was off the pitch," Parling told BBC Sport.

"I've been a bit gutted with things getting released because there weren't any distractions at the time."

Parling played in all four of England's matches as they went out of the group stages of their home World Cup following defeats by Australia and Wales.

"I can't tell you how disappointed I am, it's something that will stay with me in some way almost forever and I still think about it quite a lot - a home World Cup, I'm certainly never going to experience that again as a player," added Parling, who joined Exeter from Leicester this summer.

"Out of all the stuff that comes out afterwards, the thing that I've been thinking about is what more could I have done.

"A lot of the stuff that people are looking for, for outside reasons, weren't actually there. We just weren't good enough on the rugby pitch and I think as players we'll be thinking, and we have thought, about what more could be done."

England's failure to make the knockout stages cost head coach Stuart Lancaster his position. But Parling feels that whoever takes the England job will benefit from the work Lancaster did with the team.

"He (Lancaster) put a lot of good things in place, a lot of foundations," Parling added.

"There's a hell of a lot of talent around and whoever comes in is going to inherit a good group of players that play in a very competitive league every week."

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