Melbourne Rebels Forwards Coach Geoff Parling believes the team chemistry amongst the playing group is stronger than it was at the same time last year ahead of the side’s clash with the Lions.
“We’ve obviously not been away for too long, but I really feel like the group is tighter than this time last year,” Parling said.
“There are lots of good people who know that the best thing they can do for the team is compete to be the best they can be, and that runs right from the players to the staff.
“I know it seems pretty basic, but there’s a big drive here for everyone to get better and make the most of themselves no matter their role.”
The Rebels will endeavour to maintain their unbeaten start to the season, however, standing in their way is a formidable Lions outfit.
Parling says the Johannesburg side, who are coming off a 47-39 victory over the Jaguares, remain one of the hardest teams to beat in Super Rugby thanks to their pacey backs and dominant forwards.
“They’re a very dangerous team, they’ve got a quick back line with an aggressive pack,” Parling said.
“They have been in the last three finals for a reason… so we need to play our style as we’re a very good team when we do.”
With the Melburnians sitting top of the Australian Conference and undefeated in three games, Parling believes the Rebels have more room to improve.
And part of that improvement lays within his own forwards, with the impetus still on instilling high levels of competitiveness for starting XV spots amongst the players.
“The guys in the pack are pushing each other well,” Parling said.
“We know to be a top team we need to have a strong foundation.
“Lots of guys are driving each other in training because we’re under no illusions that we need to be more ruthless.”