Thursday, August 12, 2010

Parks eyes titles with the Blues

Dan Parks
Parks will compete with Ceri Sweeney for the Blues fly-half jersey

Cardiff Blues' big summer recruit Dan Parks says a desire for silverware played a role in his move from Glasgow.

"[At] Glasgow we always tried to win our Heineken Cup matches, but we always thought we had a chance in the Magners League," said Scotland's fly-half, 32.

"Over the last few years we were near the top [but we] just couldn't quite push on... maybe that was down to the depth we had in the squad.

"I think the Blues have a really good chance at challenging for the league."

The Blues moved to recruit Sydney-born Parks in January, signalling the end of Australian Sam Norton-Knight's unhappy one-year stay at the Welsh region.

Norton-Knight, who played mostly at full-back down under, was signed last summer and was seen as the replacement for long-serving Blues fly-half Nicky Robinson, who moved to Gloucester.

But the Australian struggled to control games as the 2009 Heineken Cup semi-finalists endured a miserable start to the season.

I'd like to think I can bring a few things to the [Blues] team

Dan Parks

Experienced Wales back Ceri Sweeney took over as the Blues' first-choice number 10, helping coach Dai Young's side turn around their season and claim a memorable Amlin Challenge Cup final win over Toulon in Marseille.

If Sweeney is the man in possession of the Blues fly-half jersey, he knows he will do well to hold it from Parks, who returned to international favour in memorable form last season.

Having been kept out of the national set-up in 2009, he was a late call-up to the 2010 Six Nations squad where he was arguably man-of-the-series, winning three man-of-the-match awards.

Parks, who qualifies for Scotland through his grandmother, went on to play a key role in two June Test victories in Argentina, the first time Scotland have claimed a series success in the southern hemisphere.

"I was happy with my form for Glasgow and Scotland last season but it is obviously a team effort," said the 53-cap man, who made his Test debut against Wales in 2004.

"I think it was a good year for me personally culminating in the Six Nations where I felt we played quite well but without much success until the last game against Ireland.

"I thought maybe we could have got one or two more wins. Then going out to Argentina and winning the Test series was great."

Parks, who moved to the UK with Leeds Carnegie in 2001 before joining the Warriors in 2003, arrived in Cardiff last Saturday.

Heartbroken Parks fumes at 'injustice' after 2010 Wales defeat

"I'm settling in well," said the man who has been the Warriors' top scorer in each of the last six seasons and is the first man to top 1,000 points in the Magners League.

"I came down with my girlfriend and a friend, with a van load of stuff, so everything is good.

"I met all the players on Monday morning and have started on the conditioning work.

"My body is feeling it a bit at the minute, as it's early days in pre-season for me, but I know I'll get the benefits over the course of the season.

"They are working us hard but I don't mind too much as I'm sure I'll reap the rewards later on.

"I made the decision to move to Cardiff based on the fact that I wanted a fresh challenge.

"I'd been at Glasgow for a long time and it was hard to leave as I've made so many good friends up there and enjoyed playing there, but I wanted the chance of playing somewhere new and obviously the Blues are a great team to join.

"I'm very fortunate to come into a team that is full of internationals and future talent. I'm really excited about the new challenge, getting onto the pitch and winning some games.

"I'd like to think I can bring a few things to the team, but the Blues are already a quality team as they showed towards the end of last season when they hit their stride.

"The individuals flourished in the team and to finish with so many wins was very impressive so I'm really excited about being involved."


Highlights: Parks stars in Argentina 16-24 Scotland

Potenshöjande medel - potenshöjande medel

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