Geoff Parling on the key areas Leicester Tigers will have to control
Geoff Parling believes there will be three key areas in Sunday's Heineken Cup encounter with Treviso at Welford Road.
The Leicester Tigers and England lock expects the Italians to provide stern resistance and believes that the home forwards will face a real challenge from the visitors.
"We are confident but we can't be too bullish in the way we prepare for Treviso," said Parling, who rejoined the Tigers' squad at Oval Park on Monday after his spell away on international duty.
"They are a very good team and can do some real damage.
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"The biggest threat is up front. Traditionally, Italian sides are not as skilful out wide but, up front, they are good at scrum and maul time. Those are the areas, and around the fringes, which will be the three key areas."
Parling is relishing a return to club duty, which would come quickly on the back of England's famous win over New Zealand, in which he played his part alongside fellow Tigers Tom Youngs, Dan Cole, Ben Youngs and Manu Tuilagi.
"I'm keen to get cracking and playing for the club again, if selected," said Parling, who has played eight European games to date for Leicester.
"We have two massive games coming up against Treviso. We started the campaign with a loss at Toulouse but we got things back on the right track against the Ospreys, particularly in the last 10 minutes.
"The group is wide open and we know we can't take Treviso lightly. They are a tough team to break down. They will be big and physical and will work hard.
"We have to stick to our shapes, not get frustrated if things don't go our way early on and back ourselves to come through."
Confidence around the Tigers squad should be high at the moment as the players who dug out a Premiership win over Bath on Saturday have been bolstered by the return of Tigers' England contingent.
Looking back at the stunning success over the All Blacks, 29-year-old Parling, who now has a dozen caps to his name, said the crucial aspect for England was to build on that eye-catching win.
"It was such a good performance," he said. "I was proud to be a part of it. But we have to be more consistent now.
"There is no point having a one-off performance that people talk about. We have to be beating the top teams consistently – that is the sign of a good team.
"People were writing us off before the New Zealand game but nobody in the England squad did that.
"We knew we were not that far away and there was a lot of frustration from the other two games against Australia and South Africa. We felt we should have won."
Now the second-row forward will be hoping he is part of another clinical exercise this Sunday to help Tigers' push to reach the knock-out stages of the Cup.