Six Nations 2012: Dan Parks calls time on his Scotland career
Scotland fly-half Dan Parks retires from international rugby after winning 67 caps in a career spanning eight years
Scotland fly-half Dan Parks has announced his retirement from international rugby with immediate effect.
Parks, 33, won 67 caps for Scotland in a career spanning eight years, with the Cardiff Blues star scoring 266 points and a Scottish record 17 drop-goals.
Parks admitted he had been thinking about hanging up his boots following the Rugby World Cup, where he was named man-of-the-match in the final pool game against England.
“I was thinking about it [retirement] but the first game of the Six Nations was against England and Ruaridh Jackson was injured and being able to play against England was huge for me as there was a sense of unfinished business,” said Parks.
“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 – 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.”
Parks was the pivotal figure in Scotland’s successes in 2010, winning a host of man-of-the-match awards and steering the side to an historic Test series triumph in Argentina and memorable victories against Ireland and South Africa.
“I’ve no regrets at what has been an amazing career for me,” added Parks, who was named the Scotland Players’ Player of the World Cup in 2007. “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.
“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.”
Meanwhile, Scotland head coach Andy Robinson hailed Parks’ determination to break into his squad after the initial disappointment of being omitted when the 47-year-old first took charge in 2009.
“I have really enjoyed working with Dan,” said Robinson. “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.”
The Scotland team to play Wales in Cardiff on Sunday will be announced on Wednesday.