Dan Parks retires from international rugby

Dan Parks has informed Scottish Rugby Union that he is retiring from international rugby with immediate effect.

The SRU has confirmed that Parks is no longer available for selection after an eight-year international career.

The fly-half, who plays his club rugby with Cardiff Blues, came under criticism after an error during the Six Nations loss to England proved decisive.

He had won 67 caps for Scotland, scoring 266 points. Parks revealed that he had considered retiring after last year's World Cup but felt that now was the time to draw a line under his Test career.

In a statement released by the SRU, Parks said: “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, 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 (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.

“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.  It was also where I met my girl-friend, Laetitia.

“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’ve made some incredible friends here in Scotland and in the Scotland team and a lot of those friendships were forged in Glasgow.

“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 want to say a massive thank you to my family and close friends.  They’ve been invaluable for their constant support over the years.

“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 coach Andy Robinson said that he understood and agreed with Parks' decision but paid tribute to the player's contribution tothe national team.

“I have really enjoyed working with Dan," Robinson said. 

"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.”

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