Dan Parks

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Dan Parks
Dan Parks.jpg
Dan Parks, playing for the Glasgow Warriors, kicking a penalty.
Full name Daniel Arthur Parks
Date of birth (1978-05-26) 26 May 1978 (age 35)[1]
Place of birth Hornsby, New South Wales, Australia[1]
Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)[2]
Weight 91 kg (14 st 5 lb)[2]
School Marsden High School
Occupation(s) Professional Rugby player
Rugby union career
Playing career
Position Fly-half
Amateur clubs
Years Club / team
West Harbour RUFC
Southern Districts RUFC Eastern Suburbs RUFC
Professional / senior clubs
Years Club / team Caps (points)
Leeds Tykes
Cardiff Blues
correct as of 23 March 2014.
National team(s)
Years Club / team Caps (points)
2004–2012 Scotland 66 (260)
correct as of 1 October 2011.

Daniel Arthur Parks (born 26 May 1978 in Hornsby, New South Wales) is a Scottish former international rugby union player who plays for Pro 12 side Connacht Rugby as fly-half. He is the Pro 12 record points scorer having amassed 1,295 (18T 151C 31D 270P) since his debut in 2003[3]

Early career[edit]

Parks was brought up in Sydney, Australia and played rugby for West Harbour RUFC, Southern Districts RUFC and Eastern Suburbs RUFC. He also represented New South Wales at under-21 level. During his playing days in the Sydney rugby union competition, Parks broke a long standing point scoring record for the third fifteen's highest scoring replacement in a friendly game.

Leeds Carnegie[edit]

After moving to the UK in September 2001 to pursue his professional rugby career, Parks amassed 51 points for Leeds Tykes 6 games[4] before leaving for Eastern Suburbs.

Glasgow Warriors[edit]

In 2003 Parks returned to the UK and joined Glasgow Warriors. After making his debut as a replacement in the Celtic Cup victory over Celtic Warriors at Bridgend in September 2003, Parks was quick to establish himself as the club's first choice fly-half, a position he held in all 7 seasons he played for Glasgow. Testament to his game-winning prowess. Parks was top points scorer for his club in every season he played for Glasgow from the 2003/04 to the 2009/10 season, scoring tries, conversions, penalties and drop goals.[5][6][7][8]

This accumulation of points means he has become the highest all-time points scorer for the club. In what would be Glasgow's final match of the 2008/2009 season, Parks attained the distinction of being the first ever player to reach 1,000 points in the Magners League play.[9]

Parks was also named Player of the Season in 2006/07 and in 2009/10.[10] Over his Glasgow career, he has made regular appearances for the Scotland national side, including in the Six Nations and the 2007 World Cup.[11] For his World Cup performance, Parks was voted Scotland player of the tournament[12]

Parks was also named Glasgow Warriors player of the season both in 2006/07 and in 2009/10.[10] Throughout his Glasgow career, he has made regular appearances for the Scottish national side, including in the Six Nations the 2007 World Cup,[11] Scotland tours to Australia 2004, South Africa 2006 & Argentina 2008,2010

Parks leaves Glasgow Warriors as their record points scorer, having amassed 1531 points (20 tries, 322 penalties,188 conversions and 26 drop goals) in 146 games.[10] He also holds the distinction as being the RaboDirect Pro12 all-time record point's holder.

Parks' exceptional form for Glasgow Warriors was recognised by the Magners League as he was voted best fly-half with his inclusion in the leagues Dream Team 2009/10[13] Glasgow Warriors team mates Alastair Kellock and John Barclay also featured, in addition to Edinburgh's Dutch winger Tim Visser

Cardiff Blues[edit]

Joining from Glasgow Warriors, Parks signed a 2-year deal with Cardiff Blues, in doing so he becomes the first Scotsman to play for them. Parks made his Magners League Blues debut on 4 September 2010 in the 34–23 win against Edinburgh, Parks kicked 14 points and was awarded man of the match.[14] At the end of his first season with the Blues he played 18 times scoring 210 points (18C,10DG,48P)


In February 2012, Parks signed for Galway based Pro 12 team Connacht Rugby, joining the club for the start of the 2012/2013 RaboDirect Pro12 campaign on a two-year contract.[15][16] Parks made his debut for Connacht Rugby in a Rabo Direct Pro 12 game against their Irish rivals Leinster Rugby. Parks scored two conversions and a penalty all adding up to seven points. Parks made his Heineken cup debut against Italian side Zebre. Since joining Connacht, Parks has being a hugely popular signing with the fans and has helped Connacht claim some impressive victories including a Heineken Cup win over French giants Biarritz Olympique, with a final score of 22–14, in which Parks kicked three penalties, two drop goals and a conversion.

Scotland career[edit]

Parks qualified to play for Scotland via his maternal grandfather who was born in Kilbirnie Ayrshire. He made his Scotland debut in February 2004 against Wales.[11] He also played in all three 2005 Autumn tests, his positive attitude and commitment won praise from coach Frank Hadden. Parks' fortunes improved along with those of the Scotland team who enjoyed more success in the 2005–2006 season.

Despite being the choice No.10 for Scottish national coach Matt Williams and his successor Frank Hadden, he has on occasion appeared to have had a difficult time fitting into this role, particularly in the 2008 Six Nations games against England and Italy. However, in the tour of Argentina 2008 he scored a break away try to secure the second test victory, levelling the series 1–1.

His tactical kicking and ability to take long-range penalties are his main strong points, both for Scotland and the Glasgow Warriors, and are often cited as reasons for his continued participation in the Scottish national side. At times it appeared that Parks struggled to bring the same consistently high performance witnessed at Glasgow Warriors to the Scotland team. Parks has played in Six Nations, the 2007 World Cup,[11] Scotland tours to Australia 2004, South Africa 2006 and Argentina 2008, 2010 .

His poor form for Glasgow Warriors and off field issues lead to him being axed from the Scotland set up throughout 2009. After initially being left out of Andy Robinson's 2010 Six Nations Championship squad against France he was called up against Wales where he was named man of the match. He subsequently won two more man of the match during the 6 Nations championship against Italy and Ireland.

Parks was an integral part of Scotland winning their first ever test series. Scotland won 2–0 against Argentina securing a 24–16 victory in Tucumán.[17] A week later he played as part of the heroic 13–9 victory over Argentina in La Plata[18]

Parks outlined his desire to add to his 53 caps in the November internationals against New Zealand, South Africa and Samoa and in the 2011 RWC.[19]

"I've got 53 caps now and I want to build on that. My goal is to get to the World Cup to represent Scotland there." (Interview with BBC Scotland 28 August 2010)[19]

On 10 May 2011 Parks was named in the provisional 40-man Rugby World Cup 2011 squad.[20]

Parks made his first Rugby World Cup 2011 appearance in the 15–6 victory over Georgia where he scored all of the points (4P,1DG). In landing a drop goal in the 37th minute Parks furthered his Scottish drop goal record to 15.[21]

In the last minute of the game against Argentina, which Los Pumas won 13–12, Parks missed the decisive drop goal. Following this match there has been criticism of Parks tactical sense, after he earlier scored a drop goal while Scotland had advantage close to the try line.

After wide criticism for his performance in the first match of the 2012 six-nations against England, Parks announced his immediate retirement from international rugby on 7 February 2012.[22]

Personal controversy[edit]

On 19 April 2009, Parks was pulled over by police while driving on the M8 motorway between Glasgow and Edinburgh at 3:45 am. His blood alcohol levels were found to be over three times the legal limit. Parks was subsequently banned from driving for 18 months.[23] His drunk driving coincided with poor form for Glasgow and omission from the Scottish team. Glasgow Warriors ordered Parks to train alone while his future was considered. After deliberating he was allowed to remain a Warrior after Sean Lineen opted to give him a second chance.

Parks reborn[edit]

After enduring an 18-month international exile he was recalled to the Scotland squad for the match 2010 Six Nations Championship tie against Wales. Parks went on to win an unprecedented three man-of-the-match awards in four games (Wales, Italy, Ireland) during the 2010 Six Nations Championship. After being somewhat of a controversial figure for Scotland during his career he was often maligned by both fans and critics alike for his high-risk game play.

This was to change during the 2010 Six Nations Championship under the tutelage of Andy Robinson. Parks regained some of the self-belief and confidence that had often evaded him while playing for Scotland but been so prevalent for Glasgow. Parks said of Andy Robinson "he has been a big contributor to the improvement in the Scotland team."[19]

During the Six Nations Championship Parks enacted a 'Lazarus' like revival to produce performances that were worthy of national acclaim. In doing so he proved that much of the criticism aimed at him previously to be unfounded. Even one of most hardened critics, Scotsman journalist Alan Massie, recognised his outstanding performances.

Testament to his first-class performances throughout the 2010 6 Nations he featured in many writers' team of the tournament.[24][25]

Parks continued his fine form for Scotland playing an integral role in securing a 2–0 series victory in the 2010 tour of Argentina. This was Scotland's first ever capped series victory in 50 years of touring. In addition, it was the first time in 26 years that Scotland have won 3 away internationals in a row.[26] Parks then went on to score all 21 points in Scotland's 21 – 17 upset win over South Africa with 6 penalties and a drop-goal.

Since then, in Premiership (Celtic League) Rugby, Dan played two seasons for Cardiff Blues, but has now gone to be a star player for Connacht, an underdog Irish team with fighting ambitions.

Awards and Records[edit]


  1. ^ a b "RWC 2007 player profile – Dan Parks". rugbyworldcup.com. Retrieved 2 November 2007. 
  2. ^ a b Dan Parks. "RaboDirectPRO12 : Teams : Connacht Rugby : Connacht Rugby Squad Index". Magnersleague.com. Retrieved 2011-10-01. 
  3. ^ "RaboDirectPRO12 : Stats : Player Records". Magnersleague.com. 23 September 2011. Retrieved 2011-10-01. 
  4. ^ "Dan Parks | Rugby Union | Players and Officials". ESPN Scrum. Retrieved 2011-10-01. 
  5. ^ "Statistics – Season 2003/2004". glasgowwarriors.com. 
  6. ^ "Statistics – Season 2004/2005". glasgowwarriors.com. 
  7. ^ "Statistics – Season 2005/2006". glasgowwarriors.com. 
  8. ^ "Statistics – Season 2006/2007". glasgowwarriors.com. 
  9. ^ Glasgow's Dan Parks celebrates breaking the 1,000 Celtic League points barrier, ESPN, 27 December 2009, retrieved 21 March 2010 
  10. ^ a b c "Glasgow Warriors – Dan Parks". glasgowwarriors.com. 
  11. ^ a b c d "scrum.com player profile – Dan Parks". scrum.com. Retrieved 2 November 2007. 
  12. ^ a b "Parks voted Scots' player of World Cup by his peers". The Scotsman.com. 12 October 2007. 
  13. ^ Cole, Rob (28 May 2010). "RaboDirectPRO12 : News : Grand Finalists dominate 'Dream Team'". Magnersleague.com. Retrieved 2011-10-01. 
  14. ^ "Cardiff Blues 34–23 Edinburgh". BBC News. 4 September 2010. 
  15. ^ "Connacht welcome record points-scorer Parks". Irish Examiner. 28 February 2012. Retrieved 29 February 2012. 
  16. ^ "Fly-half Dan Parks moving from Cardiff Blues to Connacht". BBC Sport. 28 February 2012. Retrieved 29 February 2012. 
  17. ^ "Argentina 16–24 Scotland". BBC News. 12 June 2010. 
  18. ^ Morrison, Iain. "Argentina 9 – 13 Scotland: Heroic Scots pass test in Argentina – Scotsman.com Sport". Sport.scotsman.com. Retrieved 2011-10-01. 
  19. ^ a b c "Parks eyes Scots World Cup role". BBC News. 28 August 2010. 
  20. ^ "Scotland News : Four new caps in Scotland squad | Live Rugby News". ESPN Scrum. Retrieved 2011-10-01. 
  21. ^ "Rugby Union – ESPN Scrum – Statsguru – Test matches – Player records". Stats.espnscrum.com. Retrieved 2011-10-01. 
  22. ^ "Scotland stand-off Dan Parks retires from international rugby". news.bbc.co.uk. 7 February 2012. Retrieved 2012-02-07. 
  23. ^ Rugby star given drink drive ban, BBC, 15 May 2009, retrieved 21 March 2010 
  24. ^ "Rugby Union Tournaments | Six Nations | Six Nations: XV of the Championship". Planet Rugby. Retrieved 2011-10-01. 
  25. ^ Bryn Palmer. "Six Nations Team of the Tournament". BBC. Retrieved 2011-10-01. 
  26. ^ "Scotland Rugby Team Website – ROBINSON HAILS 'VERY SPECIAL' VICTORY". Scotlandrugbyteam.org. 19 June 2010. Retrieved 2011-10-01. 


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