Dan Parks retires from international rugby

Scotland stand-off Dan Parks today announced his retirement from international rugby with immediate effect.

In his eight year international career, Parks won 67 caps for Scotland, scoring 266 points, including a Scottish record 17 drop-goals. He was the pivotal figure in Scotland’s successes in 2010, winning a host of Man of the Match awards and steering the side to a historic, unprecedented Test series triumph in Argentina and memorable victories against Ireland and South Africa. It should also be remembered that he was the Scotland players’ player of the World Cup in 2007, testament to his talent and his immense popularity with his peers.

Parks (Cardiff Blues), 33, had been thinking over his decision following the Rugby World Cup, in which he was Man of the Match in the final pool game against England.

He told www.scotlandrugbyteam.org: “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.”

Scotland head coach Andy Robinson said: “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.”

What do you make of Dan Parks retirement? Is this the right time?

14 thoughts on “Dan Parks retires from international rugby

  1. Timing is ridiculous.

    He should not have started against Wales, maybe not even made the squad behind Laidlaw and Weir, but his experience is invaluable. He could have acted either off the bench or in the squad like O’Gara or Wilkinson or Stephen Jones, offering advice to the younger 10 coming through, regardless of his playing style.

    Choosing to announce it today throws the whole squad off their game; Kelly Brown, Jim Hamilton and coach Gregor Townsend have already tweeted speaking about how today has been incredibly emotional.

    It leaves Scotland with three options at 10, one of which is injured (Jackson), another who has 3 caps and is actually a scrum-half (Laidlaw) and lastly a youngster with an incredible amount of potential but is just 20 and still very raw (Weir).


    1. Ben, what have they got to lose? With Weir scoring 20 points against the Saxons, surely someone like him could provide the spark and flair that Scotland need. Isn’t Farrell just 20? Wasn’t JW younger than that when he took to the international stage?

      My biggest sympathy for Scotland is Andy Robinson. He probably puts intolerable pressure on his own guys. By putting someone like Weir in, AR will screw up his mind too.

      1. I’m saying cut him from the team, maybe even the 22, but not the squad. No one wants Weir playing 10 for Scotland more than me, but he’ll need support and having Parks around will help, much like Farrell has Hodgson.

        I suppose the great debate is who to blame; Robinson or the players?

  2. He had a great Six Nations that year – thought he was the best player in the championship – aside from that he’s an ordinary player. Thought last week’s game would suit him – tight game needing good management, but his kicking game was pretty poor. With Jackson coming up and Laidlaw there as well, the Scots should be delighted.

  3. Thank god he waited until after the England game to retire- we wouldnt have won if he didnt play.
    I think the rest of the six nations team will be more upset he isnt playing than the Scots will.

    1. typical english non rugby reply ! be a bit gracious about someone who has represented his country and has done a fine job ,maybe not the most flamboyant player but shows what guts and determination can achieve …. a bit more i suspect than you will ever have,after such an irreverent comment !!!!

  4. He blows hot and cold. He’s arguably one of the most frustrating international players out there. He had the talent to be a success but never seemed to up his game when it counted.

    Weir, Laidlaw and a fit Jackson are better options than him purely because of his ability to disappear in games.

    I think the truth with Scotland now is that there isn’t a Chris Paterson to keep the scoreboard ticking over anymore, Now they need an active 10 who’ll create opportunities and use their backs. i mean lord knows that after all the work their forwards do, they bloody deserve it

  5. I think if you look at Greig Laidlaw’s kicking stats – admittedly in the less pressurised atmos of club rugby – he is up there with most and not far behind St Chris, as is Duncan Weir.

    Dan Parks managed most of his career to infuriate most followers of Scotland. I recall a Murrayfield game against Wales where the biggest cheer of the day was Parks’ withdrawal at half time in favour of Gordon Ross. It’s not to do with his provenance at all – we have played the granny game as much as any nation and many foreign-born players have been hugely popular. Martin Leslie springs to mind for his dogged maximising of his potential and hard work for our team.

    Like many players better than me, I have played with fly halves who can’t run or can’t tackle or throw hospital passes or seldom get the line moving or kick to the opposition’s best runners or miss straight place kicks or kick off into touch. But seldom have these talents been mixed into the one player.

    Not so much hot and cold as cold and freezing with occasional glimmers of hope – one long pass on Saturday was quite useful. But Dan is hugely overdrawn at the bank of rugby; Jamie Roberts has implied as much.

    I am very sorry for him as a man – I am sure he tried his utmost, and his career will not be fondly remembered by the vast majority of Scots. It isn’t his fault that coaches stuck with him and sometimes asked him to play the wrong game. But he had a better ride than many Scotland 10s behind a fairly useful pack and never set things alight.

    Anyone who has watched Edinburgh this season, and particularly anyone who saw the A team at Netherdale last Friday, has seen the future. If Laidlaw or Weir can be allowed to play their natural game then we might finally see the best of Max Evans.

    At least one of our problems has moved on. All we need now is the right 12 and 15 (Scott and Hogg in my view, bring Max into 13 and have Sean and Lee Jones on the wings).

  6. It’s an incredibly strange time to retire, which makes me wonder whether he was offered the chance to exit graciously rather than be dropped. Do you think Andy Robinson had a word with him akin to ‘after that performance, you’re not going to play for me again, but I’ll give you the chance to bow out on your terms’? Robinson may feel it’s time to blood the new 10’s coming through.

    If this isn’t the case, it seems a bit selfish that Parks has retired when he has. The only other time I can remember a player retiring mid-series was Nasser Hussain!

  7. Come on! There’s no chance it was his decision. He was told to just get out of the stadium and don’t bother coming back. Then a few press people did some work

  8. I’m not surprised he has done it at such short notice. He owes the Scotland team nothing after his years of loyal service and how he has been repeatedly used as a scape-goat for the Scotland teams failings. No one has pointed the finger at any of the players which butchered Scotlands try scoring chances on saturday. Even Andy Robinson won’t stand by him from the looks of his statement. It’s a shame he won’t be remembered for that glorious victory against the Wallabies where he was instrumental to Scotlands success. Instead he will be remembered for that charged down clearance kick which contributed to the first English victory at Murrayfield for eight years. Seven points for the English when other Scottish players could’nt hold their nerve, opportunities came and went, along with twenty-plus points that went begging to be scored.

  9. People screaming that Laidlaw and Weir are the answer, what if they crack under the pressure? They’re both very inexperienced on the international stage and if they fall to pieces, it would’nt be a bad thing to have had Parks on the bench to play the territory and keep the scoreboard ticking over. All leading teams have an old war horse and a young gun that can play stand-off. Carter/Slade, ROG/Sexton, Giteau/Cooper, Steyn/Lambie, Jones/Priestland. Can’t argue with evidence like that, all the tier one nations use the experience to bring the youth in and it obviously works.

  10. I think it is outrageous if the rumours are true that Dan was put under pressure to retire by the Scotland Camp. Dan is a great player and will always be remembered as one of the best players for both Scotland and Glasgow Warriors. He deserves better treatment than this, Shame on us! As well as being a great sportsman, he was a lovely friendly guy who often met the kids before his Glasgow Warrior games. The Scotland Camp should be apologising to him and begging him to re-consider his early retirement. Perhaps they were trying to deflect attention from themselves and their poor results… Dan we loved you! You have nothing to feel bad about!

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