SCOTLAND FLY-HALF Dan Parks has decided to retire from international rugby one game into this year’s Six Nations.
The Australian-born 33-year-old made his 67th test appearance against England on Saturday and was at fault for the only try of the game when his attempted clearance was closed down by Charlie Hodgson as Scotland lost 13-6.
Retirement had been on his mind after last year’s World Cup where he played second fiddle to Ruaridh Jackson but the prospect of facing England one last time was too much to turn down.
“I was thinking about it but the first game of the Six Nations was against England, the auld enemy, Jacko was injured and being able to play against England was huge for me as there was a sense of unfinished business,” he said on ScotlandRugbyTeam.org.
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.”
Greig Laidlaw is now favourite to start in the Cardiff Blues playmaker’s place against Wales on Sunday while Duncan Weir will take his place on the bench and Parks believes they have a big future ahead of them.
“There are some really talented guys coming through – Jacko, Greig and Duncan – 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.”
Scotland coach Andy Robinson added: “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.”