Parks announces international retirement
February 7, 2012
Dan Parks has retired from international rugby with immediate effect © Getty Images
Scotland fly-half Dan Parks has announced his retirement from international rugby with immediate effect.
The 33-year-old made his 67th Test appearance in last Saturday's opening Six Nations loss to England and was culpable for the decisive try as Charlie Hodgson charged down his kick.
The Cardiff Blues playmaker, who made his debut in 2004, has now made way for the next generation, with Edinburgh captain Greig Laidlaw expected to start for Scotland in Sunday's Six Nations Test with Wales in Cardiff and uncapped Glasgow Warriors fly-half Duncan Weir set for a place on the replacements' bench.
Parks had been contemplating retiring after the Rugby World Cup, when he was second choice behind Ruaridh Jackson, but the lure of the opening Six Nations clash with England was too strong. However, now he has now called time on his Test career, insisting the time is right.
Parks said: "I was thinking about it but the first game of the Six Nations was against England, the auld enemy, Jacko was injured and being able to play against England was huge for me as there was a sense of unfinished business.
"On reflection after the game, after talking it over with my family, girlfriend 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 and Duncan - 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.
"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. Other memorable moments have been the two wins against England at home (2006 and 2008), the win against South Africa here at Murrayfield (in November 2010), the two wins in Argentina in 2010 and one in 2008 and the Ireland game in 2010 which was a great occasion."
Scotland head coach Robinson did not select Parks in his first squad as head coach in 2009, but the Australia-born playmaker proved his credentials and has steered Scotland to a number of successes since returning. However, he fell down the pecking order as Robinson fostered a more expansive game plan and now his Test career is over following 266 points, including a Scottish record 17 drop-goals.
Parks is the third long-serving Scot to retire following the World Cup, after Nathan Hines and Chris Paterson. Robinson said: "I have really enjoyed working with Dan. He wasn't in my first Scotland squads, but through his own determination, hard work, skill and competitive spirit he forced his way back into selection.
"It's never an easy decision to make, but I feel Dan has made the right decision and thank him for his contribution over the years."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The tone was set early on in Dublin as a more clinical Ireland made England pay. All is not lost, however, argues Phil Vickery
Monday Maul takes in retirement talk, England reshuffles, France's unfair advantage and Scotland's communication breakdown
John Griffiths takes an analytical look at Week 3 of ESPN Scrum's Fantasy Rugby game - who should you have picked?
Ireland coach Joe Schmidt won the tactical battle and set his team on course for a shot at the Grand Slam. Tom Hamilton reports from Dublin