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Double joy for Parling

Geoff Parling admits he has experienced a "quite surreal" few days following the birth of his daughter and then being named British and Irish Lions captain.

Leicester lock Parling will lead the tourists against the Melbourne Rebels on Tuesday, with that honour being afforded him less than 24 hours after he made a Lions Test debut off the replacements' bench.

And he could now also make the Lions second Test team in Melbourne next Saturday after it was confirmed that Paul O'Connell is being "treated and assessed" for an arm injury. Wife Elle and baby girl May Rose are both doing well following the birth last Thursday, and Parling said: "I've got some making up to do when I get back, to be fair."

He continued: "I followed (May Rose's birth) on Face Time and Skype. What an invention. Just beforehand she was in the room ready - she had a C-section - and the midwife came in and I said 'please just put me in the corner, I will just watch and be quiet' and the midwife actually turned off!

"I was pacing around the room for about an hour, quite nervous to be honest, because you never know how it is going to go. Then I got Face Timed again and I heard someone laughing, so as soon as I heard that I knew everything was fine."

The possibility of Parling going home for the birth was discussed.

"We did think about it, but these sort of opportunities don't come around very often. Neither does having a kid, to be fair," he added.

"Thankfully, my wife is very understanding. She has got her aunty and uncle looking after her and some neighbours who are good as well.

"There is a little bit of guilt there, but I am just very relieved she is fit and healthy. Everyone is saying I should have called her (daughter) Matilda. It's been a great week, quite surreal.

"I don't think I need extra motivation. 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. There is more relief that everything is safe and well at home. She got home yesterday (Saturday). I cannot park it because it's my daughter, but I can fully focus on the game."


From Belfast Telegraph