Parker earns late Wales call-up
The Ospreys' Sonny Parker is heading to North America as a late replacement for Lions-bound James Hook
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- Sonny Parker has responded to an urgent call-up to the Wales team departing for the summer tour to Canada and USA, after fellow Osprey James Hook was selected for Lions duty.
Parker won the last of his 31 caps almost a year ago during Wales' tour against the World champion South Africans, after picking up a Grand Slam winners medal during the 2008 season, and now he deputises for Hook providing experienced cover at centre whilst the utility back has the Springboks in his sights.
"Sonny is a seasoned professional, we know exactly what we are getting with him and we know he won't let us down at this level," said Wales coach Robin McBryde. "He brings a pedigree and level of experience which is unquestioned and we are fortunate to be able to call on someone of his calibre at short notice.
"James goes to South Africa with whole of Wales behind him, the call-up will be a real dream come true for him and we also know he won't let the Lions down. He is a player of mercurial talents and the rugby world will be excited by the prospect of having James Hook on the Lions tour."
- Bourgoin scrum-half Morgan Parra is a doubt for France's summer tour to New Zealand and Australia after suffering shoulder injury in his side's European Challenge Cup Final defeat to Northampton.
The talented No.9 was the victim of a crunching tackle from Northampton's Courtney Lawes in the closing moments of their clash at The Stoop and is now unlikely to make Les Bleus' three-Test tour.
"I am not a doctor but his injury is serious and I really fear he'll miss the tour," said Bourgoin assistant coach Xavier Pemeja.
France coach Marc Lievremont also has Leicester scrum-half Julien Dupuy at his disposal with Biarritz's Dimitri Yachvili and Toulouse's Jean-Baptiste Elissalde also in line for a call up.
- Fiji has been selected as the host nation for this year's Pacific Nations Cup, the International Rugby Board (IRB) announced.
Samoa and Tonga will also host one match each but the bulk of the games will be staged in three Fijian venues, Suva, Lautoka and Sigatoka. Japan and the Junior All Blacks will also play in the five-team tournament that runs from June 12 to July 3 and is part of an IRB strategy to develop rugby in the region.
"Fiji has a rich rugby heritage and a passion for the game and I am sure that the country will embrace their first major IRB international fifteen-a-side event," IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset said in a statement.
- Magners League champions Munster have begun working towards next season by confirming a number of new deals with their academy players. Back-row Billy Holland and centre Tom Gleeson will move from development to full contracts and Academy players Tommy O'Donnell and prop Dave Ryan will move on to development contracts. Former Ireland U20 fullback Felix Jones has also joined the side.
- The Argentinian Rugby Union has announced their squad of Jaguars to contest this season's Churchill Cup. Seven of the squad ply their trade in Europe, including London Irish's Tomás De Vedia. The tournament takes place in Denver, Colorado between June 6 and 21.
Jaguars: César Felipe Bettolli (Tucumán Lawn Tennis), Lucas Bernardo Barrera Oro (Universitario), Carlos José Cáceres (Tucumán Lawn Tennis), Alejandro Tomás Campos (Pueyrredón), Mauro Adrián Comuzzi (Pucarà), Agustín Creevy (San Luis), Tomás De Vedia (London Irish), Juan Figallo (Jockey Club), Mariano Galarza (Universitario de la Plata), Juan Francisco Gomez (Leeds Carnegie), Agustin Oscar Gosio (Newman), Mauricio Raúl Guidone (La Plata), Agustín Guzman (Tucumán), Alfredo Lalanne (London Irish), Martin Landajo (CASI), Pedro Ledesma (Stade Français), Tomás Leonardi (SIC), Francisco José Merello (Regatas De Bella Vista), Ignacio Mieres (Perpignan), Tomás Roan (La Plata), Martín Rodriguez (Atlético De Rosario), Mariano Sambucetti (Bristol), Horacio Alberto San Martin (Tala), Leonardo Senatore (GER, Rosario), Benjamín Urdapilleta (CUBA), Matías Viazzo (Bourgoin)