PARKS RETIRES

Dan Parks has announced his retirement from international rugby just one game into the RBS Six Nations campaign.

An error-strewn display against England at the weekend, where the fly-half was charged down by his opposite number Charlie Hodgson for the match-winning try, will now be his last in a Scotland shirt.

He will be replaced in the starting XV by Greig Laidlaw when Andy Robinson’s side travel to Wales on Sunday.
Parks revealed retirement had been on his mind prior to the start of the Six Nations, but a sense of “unfinished business” against England meant his decision was delayed.
A 13-6 loss at Murrayfield, however, seems to have prompted the decision.

It is a cruel ending to a distinguished international career for the Australian-born Parks, who made 67 appearances for his adopted country, scoring 266 points.
He also holds the Scottish record for drop-goals with 17.
Parks will continue playing club rugby for Cardiff Blues, while he highlighted the 2007 World Cup as his most memorable time in a Scotland shirt.

He earned three man-of-the-match awards in the 2010 Six Nations but slipped down the pecking order during the 2011 World Cup, where Scotland crashed out in the group stages.
Greig Laidlaw, who came on to replace Parks after his costly mistake against England, will start against Wales on Sunday – one of two forced changes for Andy Robinson as Euan Murray is unavailable for selection due to religious reasons.

Laidlaw is the nephew of former Scotland and Lions scrum-half Rory Laidlaw, and the 26 year-old will also take on front-line kicking duties at the Millennium Stadium.

Scotland remain unchanged elsewhere as they seek immediate redemption after failing to convert their possession and territory into points against England. A buoyant Wales side in Cardiff will be a formidable challenge.

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