Aviva Premiership
England's Parling to join Exeter Chiefs
ESPN Staff
January 29, 2015
Geoff Parling will leave Leicester at the end of the season to join Exeter Chiefs © Getty Images
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England lock Geoff Parling will join Exeter Chiefs in the summer on a two-year deal, the Premiership club have announced.

The 31-year-old will leave Leicester after six years at Welford Road which saw him win two Premiership titles and earn three caps for the British and Irish Lions against Australia in 2013.

Parling has 21 caps for England as well as three for the Lions and is set to compete with the likes of Courtney Lawes, Joe Launchbury and Dave Attwood for a lock berth ahead of the World Cup this year, although he is battling to be fit for the Six Nations with a medial ligament injury in his knee.

"It's an exciting move for me and a new challenge at the Chiefs that I'm very much looking forward to," said Parling. "They have a great set-up down there and a young, enthusiastic bunch of boys.

"I've spoken to one or two people about the club and the area and it's all been very positive. Of course it will be a change of scenery for me and my family, but it's a new chapter in my career and one that we're keen to take on.

"Since Exeter came up they've done things in the right way."The first few years they stuck with the core of the squad that got them promoted and since then they've added the odd face here and there over the years. There hasn't been a massive turnover of players and I think that has helped them to develop as a club.

"The Chiefs are also a lot like Leicester, they are very much a traditional rugby club, they have a great support base and it's a real hot-bed of rugby down there."

"We've slowly looked to add quality and experience to the squad since coming into the Premiership and that's what Geoff does," said Exeter coach Rob Baxter. "There's no secret that this season we have looked a bit light in the second-row department and Geoff is a proven international performer.

"He adds great experience in running things like the line-out, has good leadership experience and all those things add up to it being a very good signing for us. I'm expecting him to have a very positive influence on and off the pitch in how he helps the team prepare for big games."

In an impressive double coup for the Chiefs, they have also secured the services of wing Olly Woodburn from Premiership rivals Bath on a two-year deal.

"I'm really looking forward to the challenge, I've only ever been at Bath as a professional so it's going to be good to have a change of scenery and test myself in a different environment," said Woodburn.

"I've spoken to one or two players who know the club and the set-up and they all say positive things about the place and that it's quite a tight knit group down there."

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