Connacht Rugby has announced the signing of former Scottish international outhalf Dan Parks.
Parks will join Connacht from the Cardiff Blues at the end of the current season on a two year deal which will see the legendary Scottish outhalf ply his trade at the Sportsground until at least the end of the 2013/14 season.
Dan is the RaboDirect’s all-time leading point’s scorer with a phenomenal 1322 points to his name. In his seven seasons with Glasgow and two with Cardiff Blues he has scored an impressive 19 tries and kicked 274 penalties to leave his haul of points a staggering 473 points ahead of nearest rival Ronan O’Gara. As a prolific goal kicker he has a kicking record of 73.4% which puts his accuracy ahead of kicking sensations such as Stephen Jones, Ruan Pienaar and Leigh Halfpenny.
The pivotal position was an area Connacht identified for strengthening and the 33 year old, New South Wales born outhalf will be charged with bringing through Connacht’s emerging talent whilst helping to turn some of Connacht’s narrow losses into significant victories.
The experienced outhalf, who was the first to reach the 1000 points milestone in the Magners League, comes with serious international pedigree. He has amassed 67 caps for Scotland since his international debut in 2004, the most recent being against England in this year’s RBS 6Nations Championship. It is this knowledge and expertise that Connacht will look to harness and Dan’s considerable experience looks set to compliment the exciting, youthful backline that Head Coach Eric Elwood and Backs Coach Billy Millard already have in place.
Millard spent two seasons with the Cardiff Blues as Backs Coach and he was key to enticing the outhalf to Connacht.
Speaking about the signing Billy Millard said:
“I’m excited about working with Dan, especially in the setup we have here at the moment. He’s an absolute professional and I think he will bring an extra layer of experience to the squad. We spoke at length about the ambitions of Connacht Rugby, Dan knew the culture of the club and respected what we’re trying to do here and this was one of the main reasons he agreed to come to Connacht. He is a great guy, a leader and will add value on and off the field”
Looking forward to the move Dan added:
“It’s been a huge decision in my life to move away from Cardiff to Connacht but a move which I am thrilled about. There is a fantastic mix of youth and experience at the club and for me I am really excited about the future of Connacht rugby. With my nine years of playing in the league I will be looking to bring that experience to Galway. I am looking forward to the next two seasons and the great challenges that will come with it. The four coaches Eric, Dan, Billy and Mike have lots of energy and are very determined to make Connacht rugby a fun and successful club. I am very happy to be joining a club which I believe is on the up and has a very bright future ahead.”
Head Coach Eric Elwood was delighted with the signing:
“Having Dan Parks come on board next season is a huge boost to the club. Having someone of his experience, both internationally with the number of caps he has and in the league as the highest points scorer of all-time, is a massive bonus. As a seasoned international we are confident he will bring a huge amount of experience to our team. He knows what we’re about, what we’re trying to do and his attitude and work ethic will add to the culture of the club. We are all looking forward to working with him and bringing through the next generation of Connacht players”