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Dragons back Parks’ 737 Challenge

Guinness PRO12 Editor

26 Apr 2011


Newport Gwent Dragons are fired up for a right royal battle versus Cardiff Blues this Friday in the Magners League and will be wearing a special one-off kit to raise funds for Richard Parks’ 737 Challenge.

The former Dragons flanker is in the fifth month of his epic challenge in which he is aiming to reach the highest summits on each of the World's continents and the North and South all in seven months.

Parks, who spent two year's at Rodney Parade before a shoulder injury forced him into retirement, is aiming to raise £1million for cancer charity Marie Curie.

The Men of Gwent will wear, and then auction off, special shirts which were designed with the help of Parks.

"I wish I could be there to spend the day at Rodney Parade and thank everyone for their support, which has been amazing," said Parks.

"I’m very grateful and proud of all the support I’ve had from the Welsh public and local businesses.

"The Dragons hold a special place in my heart as I started and finished my career here in the region. I am very grateful and proud of the support I had from the Dragons fans and management during my career ending injury, and now during my 737 Challenge.

"Being given this massive derby game against the Blues to help with my fundraising target for Marie Curie Cancer Care is awesome, I just wish I was playing!".

Dragons head coach Darren Edwards led the plaudits to Parks ahead of the derby clash kicks-off at Rodney Parade at 16.05 following the Royal Wedding.

"We think what we do is tough. But the challenge Richard has gone on is a testament to his mental toughness," said Edwards.

"What he's doing is amazing. We wish him the best of luck and hope he succeeds.

"He could become a great icon for the Dragons and I'm looking forward to getting him back here and talking to us about his challenges he has faced."

The Dragons will be hoping they can take inspiration from their former flanker in Friday's clash. They have not beaten Dai Young's men in eight attempts and face a Blues side determined to cement their place in the Magners League play-off semi-finals.

Jason Tovey admitted Parks' challenge is the talk of the changing rooms at Rodney Parade and hopes a big crowd will turn out for his side's penultimate clash.

"A lot of the boys are talking about what he is doing, asking where he is now and what he is doing," added Tovey.

"He's doing a great job of raising god knows how much money for a great cause. hopefully we can get a big crowd here on Friday and make as much money as possible.

"The boys love the shirts, as rugby players we always like getting new kits."

The special one off Dragons shirts will be auctioned shortly after Friday’s match. The 737 Challenge will announce details of how you can start your bidding after the game. Keep your eyes peeled at www.737challenge.com