Parks steps down

Scotland fly-half Dan Parks has retired from international rugby with immediate effect. [more]

Parks steps down

Scotland fly-half Dan Parks has retired from international rugby with immediate effect.

The 33-year-old started Saturday’s 6 Nations defeat to England but has since announced that he is stepping down from the squad.

Australian-born Parks won 67 caps for his adopted country and was a controversial selection for the clash with the Auld Enemy, beating Edinburgh’s Greig Laidlaw to a starting spot at Murrayfield.

The Cardiff Blues and former Glasgow star admitted he was considering his Test future prior to the start of the tournament but couldn’t turn down the chance to face the English.

“I was thinking about it but the first game of the Six Nations was against England, the auld enemy, Jacko (Ruaridh Jackson) was injured and being able to play against England was huge for me as there was a sense of unfinished business,” said Parks.

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“On reflection after the game, after talking it over with my family, girl-friend and close friends I’ve come to the decision that now is the right time to retire from the international game.

“There are some really talented guys coming through – Jacko, Greig (Laidlaw) and Duncan (Weir) – and, although I’m sad to be finishing my international career, I have some fantastic memories of playing for Scotland and what that has meant to me.”

Parks began his Scotland career against Wales back in 2004 after qualifying through his maternal grandfather.

He featured in two World Cups, a home win over South Africa and a famous series triumph in Argentina and picked up five man of the match awards in a single season in 2010.

He bounced back from an 18-month international exile when poor form coincided with a drink-drive ban in 2009 but has had to face a large amount of criticism from supporters and media outlets alike for his kicking-orientated style.

“I’ve no regrets at what has been an amazing career for me. I’ve got my favourite moments for Scotland – uppermost being the 2007 Rugby World Cup,” added Parks.

“That was my first World Cup, something that as a youngster you would always aspire to play in, and it was just such a happy, exciting, positive time.

“Other memorable moments have been the two wins against England at home (2006 and 2008), the win against South Africa here at Murrayfield, the two wins in Argentina in 2010 and one in 2008 and the Ireland game in 2010 which was a great occasion.

“I was proud of myself in the way I came back from trouble off the pitch in order to regain my position firstly within the Glasgow team and then the Scotland team.

“It’s been a rocky road for me at times but at the end I’ve always given 100 per cent to play at my best and succeed for Scotland.”

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