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Connacht sign points-machine Parks

Tue, 28 Feb 2012 00:00
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Connacht have signed Pro12 all-time leading points scorer and former Scotland international flyhalf Dan Parks on a two-year deal from Welsh side Cardiff Blues.

Parks has amassed a phenomenal 1322 points in the Celtic League in an impressive career to date. 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 flyhalf 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 playmaker, who was the first to reach the 1000 points milestone in the Celtic 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 Six Nations Championship.

It is this knowledge and expertise that Connacht will look to harness and Parks' 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 was key to enticing Parks to Connacht.

Speaking about the signing Millard said: "I'm excited about working with Dan, especially in the set-up 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," he added.

Looking forward to the move Parks commented: "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," he said.

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