Hadleigh Parkes excited by Scarlets opportunity

New recruit raring to go in West Wales ahead of European Champions Cup action after move from Auckland

Scarlets new recruit Hadleigh Parkes insists he is raring to go after swapping Auckland for Llanelli this week.

The 27-year-old versatile back, who has featured in Super Rugby with the Hurricanes and Southern Kings franchises, arrived at Parc y Scarlets on Tuesday and begins training on Thursday.

Wayne Pivac, his former coach at Auckland, has brought Parkes into his European Rugby Champions Cup squad at the expense of fellow Kiwi Frazier Climo.

“I’m really excited to be here,” Parkes said. “It’s great to see the sun shining and it looks like an awesome facility here.

“It’s been quite a long season, but the ITM season finished four or five weeks ago, so I’ve had a good few weeks off. I’m really keen to get stuck in.

“Wales is very similar to New Zealand in terms of the people being so passionate about rugby.”

Not fancied by many in a tough Champions Cup pool that also features reigning champions Toulon as well as Leicester Tigers and Ulster, the Scarlets have impressed in the new elite competition in the opening two rounds.

Wales is very similar to New Zealand in terms of the people being so passionate about rugby.

Hadleigh Parkes

Pivac’s side pushed Toulon at the Stade Mayol in their first match before picking up a surprise home win over Leicester Tigers.

Guinness PRO12 rivals Ulster Rugby visit Llanelli on Sunday and while it may come too early for Parkes, he is looking forward to experiencing European rugby at the Parc.

“You just have to look at the games on the TV with the singing,” he added.

“The support they get seems to be quite phenomenal.

“I know Scarlets have had a lot of great players and have a proud history, and I’m really looking forward to getting involved.

“It’s an awesome competition and has awesome crowds.

“Everyone talks about the Welsh crowds — it’s something that people from the southern hemisphere don’t get to experience and I’m very excited to be a part of it.”

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