Scotland stand-off Dan Parks today announced his retirement from international rugby with immediate effect.
In his eight year international career, Parks won 67 caps for Scotland, scoring 266 points, including a Scottish record 17 drop-goals.
He was the pivotal figure in Scotland’s successes in 2010, winning a host of Man of the Match awards and steering the side to a historic, unprecedented Test series triumph in Argentina and memorable victories against Ireland and South Africa. It should also be remembered that he was the Scotland players’ player of the World Cup in 2007, testament to his talent and his immense popularity with his peers.
Parks (Cardiff Blues), 33, had been thinking over his decision following the Rugby World Cup, in which he was Man of the Match in the final pool game against England.
He told www.scotlandrugbyteam.org: “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.
“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 (Ruaridh Jackson), 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.
“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, the two wins in Argentina in 2010 and one in 2008 and the Ireland game in 2010 which was a great occasion.
“There are a lot of people within Scottish rugby who have been good to me. I would like to thank Matt Williams, Frank Hadden, Andy Robinson and all the various assistant coaches over the years, alongside the medical, fitness, kit, administrative and media staff who have helped me.
“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.
“I also want to thank the loyal fans of 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. This is not the end of me as a rugby player. My international career is over but I want to keep playing club rugby. I always enjoyed my time in Glasgow. It’s one of great cities I’ve visited, so who knows what will happen in the future.”
Scotland head coach Andy 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.”
Parks’ half-back partner on many occasions, Edinburgh Rugby’s Mike Blair said: “The reaction of all the guys when Parksy announced his retirement said it all – stunned silence and emotion. Dan is a hugely popular and respected member of the squad and his contribution to some of Scotland’s most famous victories cannot be under-estimated.”
The Scotland team to play Wales in Cardiff on Sunday will be announced tomorrow.