Monday, January 11, 2010

It’s the right time to move from Glasgow to Cardiff, insists Dan Parks

What had become one of the worst-kept secrets in Scottish rugby finally came out into the open yesterday when both Glasgow and Cardiff Blues confirmed that Dan Parks, the Scotland fly half, will be moving to the Welsh capital in the summer.

At least, with the need for silence ended, Parks was able yesterday to issue a statement thanking the Glasgow fans for the backing they have given him in his seven-year career with the club, while David Young, the Blues director of rugby, could start to explain to his club’s supporters why he wanted Parks.

“He is a quality player who has often been the difference between the two teams and a real thorn in our side on a number of occasions,” Young said. “His organisational skills and game understanding makes him a real general on the pitch and he has excellent communication skills.

“His record as a goalkicker speaks for itself, but his distribution skills are also well recognised. He will certainly strengthen our options.”

For the player it is obviously going to be something of a wrench to leave the place he has called home since 2003.

“Glasgow has been my life for the past seven years,” Parks said. “It’s difficult to leave a place you’ve been for so long, but with so many young talented players coming through, it’s the right time. The Glasgow supporters have been fantastic and have really added to the enjoyment factor of playing rugby here over the years.”

When Young approached Parks, he must have assumed that he would be getting a player who would arrive unencumbered by international demands, but all that may have changed in the last couple of weeks, during which the 31-year-old Parks comprehensively outplayed Phil Godman, the present Scotland fly half, in both the derbies over the festive period while becoming the first player to pass 1,000 points in the Magners League.

Despite that, the change still makes sense for Glasgow. They see Ruaridh Jackson as the long-term future, though Sean Lineen, the head coach, spoke yesterday in glowing terms about the contribution Parks had made to the club. “He is a great lad who just loves playing rugby and has loved playing rugby for Glasgow,” he said.

“He will be missed, his enthusiasm has rubbed off on everyone. He has shown tremendous character to get through some difficult times and I wish him all the best — apart from in the games that we play against Cardiff.”

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