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Right move for excited Parks

Guinness PRO12 Editor

25 Jun 2010

Scotland star Dan Parks insists he intends to play a major role when he arrives in Cardiff this summer.

The Glasgow Warriors fly-half joins the Blues next month as he switches for Scotland for Wales in the search for Magners League glory.

Parks was one of the league’s stand-out performers last season, guiding the Warriors to the inaugural Play-Offs and becoming the first player to pass 1,000 points in Magners League rugby in the process.

The Australian-born playmaker is now seeking a fresh challenge in the Welsh capital and, despite a change in his international prospects, Parks is determined to succeeed.

"I don't want to be going to a new place just to make up the numbers,” said Parks, whose Scotland career looked to be all but over prior to signing for the Blues.

"It's exciting and I want to go there and strengthen the Cardiff squad. Yes, when I first signed I wasn't sure what was going to happen with Scotland, and a lot has changed in the last six months, but I was excited about the change then and am more excited about it now."

Since signing for the Blues, Parks’ stock has risen immeasurably.

The 32-year-old was recalled to the Scotland squad for the first time under Andy Robinson during the 2010 Six Nations and has had a huge impact on his country’s fortunes.

Having been discarded by former coach Frank Hadden and initially ignored by Robinson, Parks transferred his Magners League form on to the international stage.

With Parks at the helm, the Scots came close to beating Wales and England in Europe’s showpiece event, before stunning Ireland thanks to a superb performance from the rejuvenated outside-half.

But with his Scotland future now looking assured, some critics have questioned the effect his move to Wales could have on his international career, while also suggesting that the Blues could also suffer due to potential international commitments.

Those worries have been quickly dismissed by the man himself, however, with Parks convinced his move to Wales is the right one, at the right time.

"Andy has not given me any indication that there is going to be an issue, and Cardiff Blues are happy," Parks told the Scotsman.

"Sean (Lamont] and Nikki (Walker] don't have any issues with being released for Scotland so I'm confident I will be able to give my all for Cardiff and Scotland.

"It's definitely an exciting time to be involved with Scotland and we've worked hard for these results, so I want to be a part of it going forward."

Parks will arrive in Cardiff full of confidence having just returned from Scotland’s historic tour of Argentina.

Robinson’s men recorded the country’s first-ever series victory in the southern hemisphere after winning both Tests against the Pumas and Parks is understandably proud of what he and his tem-mates have achieved this summer.

"I've been on five tours, including the World Cup in 2007, and this was the best, both from a personal point of view and the team, because we won, obviously, but really because of the confidence in the squad at the finish.

"And it all came from the performances in the Six Nations and getting that win in Dublin. The players had the confidence because we had performed.

"Where that stood out for me was in the first Test when there was no panic when we went behind. We just kept playing and controlled the scoreboard and it worked out for us. We had to claw it back, but we did it playing the way we had wanted to and always felt comfortable.

"The second game was a lot more difficult because the weather was wet and the ball was slippery, and we played into a strong wind in the second half, which made it harder getting into the right areas. But we took our chances to get the points and showed our character to win again.

"Confidence is a huge thing in that. All the players picked have been in good form and I've said before that Andy has made a big difference to how the team goes because he instils a lot of confidence in the players.

"For me it just feels like I'm part of a squad with a real winning mentality. We feel strongly that we should have won three games in the Six Nations, and the fact we didn't just makes everyone want to prove it more and go out there and win more.

"It's not easy and we have a lot to work on, but there's a feeling of onwards and upwards."