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Can Scotland afford to jettison Dan Parks?

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John Beattie | 17:27 UK time, Sunday, 10 January 2010

Dan's the man, and I think Cardiff might well have done the deal of the century in attracting Dan Parks to Wales.

In fact, Parks, a pleasant Australian of Scottish ancestry, has probably been the most inappropriately treated player in the history of Scottish rugby when it comes to the fan base. It's partly because he is seen as the jovial interloping Aussie.

Could he even be in line for a dramatic recall to a Scotland shirt, despite the pressure from Rory Hutton's superb display for Edinburgh on Saturday, the man in possession Phil Godman, and his own understudy at Glasgow Ruaridh Jackson?

Parks was our BBC Radio Scotland player of the season and if you want someone to get a scoreboard ticking over I don't think there is anyone else like him in British rugby.

parks595.jpgHe has played in more games than anyone else in the Glasgow team this season -14 out of a possible 18, including friendlies - and he has scored 189 points.

To put that in perspective, the nearest points-scorer to him is Thom Evans with 20, and all the other Glasgow players added together have scored 94 points.

Parks, alone, has scored more than double the amount of points contributed by the rest of the squad this season!

At the 2007 World Cup he was the players' player of the tournament.

Dan is accused of being a poor defender. Glasgow coach Sean Lineen intelligently puts Parks to full-back in defence and asks Bernie Stortoni to be the first defender in the back division. If opponents want to kick to Parks there will only be one winner.

And in a world looking for ideal role models, Parks has been distinctly inappropriate. He was caught drinking and driving and his private life appears to be fascinating.

He is also accused of lying too deep in attack as opposed to hitting the gain line and bringing runners into the game. Well, I am not too sure about that one as the modern Parks can fire a ball from hand as close to the gain line as anyone.

The plus points are easier. A week ago, Parks received a ball during the match against Edinburgh and kicked it into the air. As he did it, only he and Bernie Stortoni knew where it was going. It appeared to fire along a complicated trajectory between and over the post and landed, with pinpoint accuracy, in Stortoni's arms for try.

It was astonishing.

He says that he never practises because when he grew up in Dundas, Australia, he kicked a rugby ball every day and can feel where a ball will fly. To watch him kick is to be in the presence of greatness.

Oh, Dan's not perfect. He looks skinny, he can be erratic, he's not a crash tackler, he might sit deep at times, and he tries things when they are not on.

But, if you want to win games I can't think of a more influential Scottish rugby player.

I think he's worth a recall to the Scotland squad.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    I have had many arguments in the pub about DP, as I seem to be in the minority when I say I like him as a player and a person.

    His kicking is out of this world, and he has never given anything but 100% for Scotland. I do think we need to move on from DP to create the more expansive game we all crave but what stand-off will give us that?

    Godman- Decent, sometimes even good player in the Magners, but no kicking game and looks to predictable at the moment.

    Jackson- Just back from injury and DP is keeping him out of the Glasgow team.

    Hutton- One game in professional rugby. Enough said.

    Parks would put us in the right areas of the field and if the Scotland pack does control the breakdown, as they should do more under Robinson, then Parks can control the game. We won't win the six Nations but we could finish top half.

    It would be Parks last season as Scotland stand-off as hopefully next year Jackson or even Alex Blair will have come through. But right now I can't see an alternative.

  • Comment number 2.

    Totally agree John . Parks has been is a very consistent player and has been poorly treated by Scottish Rugby and many of its supporters.

    I think that his improved form this year, is in no small part due to the impressive Glasgow pack.
    Guys like John Welsh and Richie Gray should get in the squad as they are certainly better than the likes of Kyle Traynor or any of the Edinburgh locks respectively.

  • Comment number 3.

    Think Dan Parks totally outplayed Phil Godman in the two Derby matches over festive period. If we (or should I say Andy Robinson) are relying on Godman to try and ignite a Scottish back division we are in for yet another poor Six nations campaign unfortunately......for too long there has been a pro-Edinburgh bias and the two Derby matches showed that the composition of the starting XV for the France match should see a far greater Glasgow respresentation than our cousins from the East Coast; Mt team: Rory Lamont, Tom Evans, Simon Danielli, Max Evans, Sean Lamont, Dan Parks, Chris Cusiter (C), Jon Welsh, Ross Ford, Moray Low, Nathan Hines, Al Kellock, Kelly Brown, John Barclay, Richie Vernon

  • Comment number 4.

    I agree, though once again usually ridiculed in the Jackie Husband stand and in the pub afterwards. DP is very consistent in Warriors colours and don't see anyone who rivals him at the moment. Godman was second best over the festive period and Jackson is, as yet, unproven. He is the reason the Warriors win games - I suspect I have seen the same number of Warriors wins as I have Warriors tries.
    He will be missed next season and I think AR has no choice but to pick him outside CC behind a pack who mostly normally wear black.

  • Comment number 5.

    Couldn't agree more John. As I said in my own media outlet last week, the way Dan has been treated and unappreciated in Scotland is strange to say the least. Particularly after his last Scotland cap against South Africa in 2008 when he was booed for missing two kicks from the corner yet Godman's howler in front of the posts didn't meet the same scorn and derision. Not for one second am I saying that Godman should have been booed as well but it was scandalous that fans chose to crudely jeer one player yet the other is offered tea and sympathy. I've this horrible feeling that our once proud tolerant nation chose this course because one is seen as a "guid honest Scottish laddie" while the other is viewed as "yon Australian fella". If fellow kilted Antipodeans like Lineen, Metcalfe and the Leslie brothers were good enough for Scots fans then Dan should be as well.

  • Comment number 6.

    "In fact, Parks, a pleasant Australian of Scottish ancestry, has probably been the most inappropriately treated player in the history of Scottish rugby when it comes to the fan base."

    I'd disagree with this (though Parks has often been treated abominably) as I'd contest that Bredan Laney was treated worse by the fans.

    In terms of Parks as a talent, I don't think his performances for Glasgow can be questioned ; his points tally may be helped by the pixie sized pitch at Firhill, but passing 1,000 Magners League points is a massive achievement. I would, however, have slight reservation purely based on previous form when in a Scotland shirt, which more often than not failed to live up to the performance levels he showed at Glasgow.

    Having said that, I think he should be back in a Scotland shirt in the 6N if for no other reason than that Phil Godman is woefully out of form (as an Edinburgh season ticket holder I've had to suffer through 'Godders'' attempts to play the last few weeks) and Parks wiped the floor with him in the 1872 Cup games.

    In terms of after the World Cup, however, I believe the future of Scottish fly halves is bright. Ruaridh Jackson is an exciting young talent and Rory Hutton has shown that he could be set for big things (I've watched him come through the club game, so I'm not entirely basing that on last night's performance, though it was a superb d├ębut). There is also Alex Blair at Edinburgh Accies, who is only 19 and has the same insouciant style of play that marked out Chris Paterson's early days in the #10 shirt.

    They're for the future though, in the immediate I think Parks should be given another chance.

  • Comment number 7.

    I agree entirely John.

    I have watched DP for four seasons now and apart from a poor 2008/2009 (when he should have been dropped for Scotland) he has been fantastic in a Glasgow shirt. I though Godman had turned the corner after the Autumn Internationals however after the derby matches he looks as bad as ever. I read a post stating that Jackson should start against France which would be crazy. He has not started a match this season and is still learning his trade for none other than DP. If AR stick to his word and picks on form he has to go with Parks and I would suggest having Jackson or Hutton on the bench. That way they will get the international experience they need without been thrown straight into the lions den.

  • Comment number 8.

    I agree, I think Godman was so poor that Moffat should stick with Hutton, never mind Robinson making him the default Scotland 10.

    Glasgow should have sold Parks to a non-Celtic club. Parks had to move on as we need more options at 10 and with only 2 Scottish clubs, Edinburgh and Glasgow must get into the habit of shedding their skin for the national interest.

    However the thought of either Scottish team facing Parks worries me far more than an O'Driscoll or a Jones. Which probably says a lot about his true value, possibly the MVP in the ML.

    As for the Scotland squad I think the future will very quickly prove to be Hutton and Jackson but Parks still has a part to play. He's a different tool for a specific job.

    The frustration with Parks comes chiefly from the fact that he is often surrounded with terrific backs who don't get enough chances or time on the ball. Not a playmaker but a gamewinner.

  • Comment number 9.

    No he should not get a recall. I agree that what he does for Glasgow, he does very well - which is kicking it.

    "To put that in perspective, the nearest points-scorer to him is Thom Evans with 20, and all the other Glasgow players added together have scored 94 points" - I would argue that the reason for this is not because of Dan's phenomanal superiority over the rest of the side but rather because the ball rarely makes it past the first reciever!!!

    Credit where credit is due, the guy is brilliant for Glasgow and his tactical kicking is second to none in the Magners league. If he could do that for Scotland then i think you might have a point. However he seems to be a different player in a Scotland team. His decision making is very poor, distribution terrible and his kicking is well short of what he does at Glasgow.

    If Godmans poor form continues then i'd rather see Paterson or Southwell play at 10 for a season until Hutton or Jackson get some game time at their clubs.

  • Comment number 10.

    Well well well...Mr Beattie now thinks that Parks is worthy of a 48th attempt at cutting it at international level ! Lets go through this methodically and fairly. First up we should look at some facts, is Parks the ML highest points scorer ? Yes..this is good, we all knew already that in ML he is one of the best kickers around. Are Glasgow top of league ? Yes..and DP has played his part. Kind of ran out of plus points quickly there.. Now why I and many others would argue against.. Have Glasgow got the least amount of bonus points in ML despite being currently top ? Yes because the ball very seldom gets beyond Dan Parks..Does this mean better club teams (def 6N teams) easily counter this easily disrupt this one dimensional tactic ? Yes !
    Has DP ever looked confident and shown ML form against a decent international team ? I'd say no. Has his woeful tackling and umpteen intercepted passes cost games ? Yes..Has his nerve gone many times and looked like frightened child during games ? Yes.. which in turn affects whole team psyche !
    Best thing that has happened for Scottish rugby is him finally leaving and allowing younger and potentially better players get their chance. Don't even start me on fact he was convicted twice for drink driving but hbey if Beattie says he is amiable then fair enough eh.
    Andy Robinson gets my backing on leaving him out as we should look forward not back.

  • Comment number 11.

    SJ and others - I thought long and hard about this piece before writing it as I know Dan has his faults. Because he is such a key man for Glasgow he can be infuriating when he slips below perfect and he is not a great defender. And I don't think he's a saint in the modern training environment.

    Also I know that we have to look for young talent all the time and I thought Rory Hutton was outstanding in Edinburgh's win on Saturday - that shimmy of his for the try was brilliant.

    But Parks has been part of some extraordinary wins. He intercepted the pass for Graham Morrison's try in Argentina, and with the Glasgow pack in dominating form he can convert pressure into points and kick his team to good field position.

    Above all else Dan Parks keeps a scoreboard ticking over and that is key in the modern game.

    Snow is melting!

    JB

  • Comment number 12.

    Yes he can kick a rugby ball and yes he can pass.

    Is he ever going to dazzle? No

    Would you pay to watch him? No

    would he start for any Premiership club? No

    Great for Scotland as you have to play a limited gameplan.

    In my eyes another Chris Patterson....boring.

    And when you say "keeps a scoreboard ticking over and that is key in the modern game"...it's exactly that sort of mentality that is spoiling rugby.

  • Comment number 13.

    Hi John, didn't mean to sound harsh and all. Enjoy your blogs but just this Parks thing infuriates me. Seems memories are short with some people. I struggle to think of any other game bar the aforementioned Argie one where he has been pivotal. You could say maybe Italy in WC 07 but I think we would have made semis if Paterson played 10 instead. Also if it is score board ticking over with just 3 points you want then who better than Paterson ! For a slighter built man he tackles and runs lot better too... also ocasionally passing :)

  • Comment number 14.

    Aw David

    I don't think we play a limited game plan, but I accept that I am not always right. But it's interesting the amount of players who weren't getting starts in Scotland who went down to England to get a chance and made it - Strokosh and Lawson to name a couple.

    As far as keeping a scoreboard ticking over, if you play for any rugby team and you create pressure and the side you play against gives away a cynical penalty in their own half to stop a try then you have to have someone in your side who can step up, take aim, and get you three points.

    That's why he's top points scorer in the Magners league and Glasgow are top of that league - and it's a tough league

    JB

  • Comment number 15.

    Ok, so.....this may be harsh but true.

    1. He isn't Scottish. Let the young lads get some experience.
    2. His personal reputation is poor for a reason.
    3. His performances in the Scotland shirt have been terrible. FACT!!!
    4. His boot is good but at international level a fly needs vision, a cool head and attacking flair.
    5. He can't play flat. His hands are extremely slow which leads to a continual breakdown in play.
    6. 'Dan the man' was a comment based on humour rather than reality.
    7. Do I need to go on, because I could....

    My personal preference would be to see if Southwell could step up. Great hands, good feet, vision, a bit of overall class.

    DAAAAAAAN PARKS LOL

  • Comment number 16.

    i fully understand the need to keep adding points on the board. at the end of the day it's about winning games. e.g when england won the world cup in 2003, not attractive rugby but you didn't hear me complain!

    however my point was, a blunt one i must admit, is that coaches rely very heavily on goalkickers to get 3 points from 50-60m out. it is the nature of the game and that is not the coaches fault. they have no incentive to pick an entertaining player over a kicker. if the rules changed however.....

    However the premiership game at the weekend (tigers v wasps) shows how rugby should be played. easily the best game all season and both toby flood and cipriani were outstanding. they knock spots off most tens never mind Dan Parks. That's what people want to see. and they mixed the goalkicking with flair.

    there will always be a place for a Dan Parks or Chris Patterson but it's not what i'd pay to watch.

    Scotland's gameplan...mate where do i start?? i'll come back to this when there is a relevant blog.

    As for the magners league...i have friends who have played premiership and magners league and have told me the magners is NOWHERE NEAR as tough as the premiership. This however is not what you're saying and i agrree the league may be tough to a certain degree. On the other hand if you look at the heiniken cup welsh, scottish and particularly irish teams are doing very well so the magners league can't be doing that much wrong.

  • Comment number 17.

    David K,

    Funny for a fan of English rugby to call anyone boring. Premiership games are the dullest in europe. The ML is already widely agreed to be better than English league, crowd sizes apart... Anyway this is going off point.
    AR wants to play expansive rugby hence no Parks. The crowds dwindled so much in the Hadden/Parks due to the poor tactics and performances that the game up here was close to falling further behind. The AI games showed where we are going and this time I'll be quietly confident of seeing some rugby that will mke me proud in 6N's. Parks has been a good player for Glasgow and I hope he maintains this till end of season but only lack of options prompts his name back from the grave of international rugby failures. Hutton looked good other night which shows there are players coming through so lets make space for them. AR has a ruthless streak that Scotland has never had in the professional era...about time. Players play better in these circumstances.

  • Comment number 18.

    SJ,

    I agree the majority of English games are not as entertaining as the ML. At it's best however the ML cannot live with GP, fact.

    As for the dullest in Europe...be sensible.

  • Comment number 19.

    Fair enough his kicking game is up there with the best but his tackling is terrible. In the modern game at international level he does not have what it takes in a defensive situation (which Scotland spend most of there time in).

  • Comment number 20.

    David K,

    Surely saying that the "majority of games of English games are not as entertaining as the ML. At it's best however the ML cannot live with GP, fact." means that you would have recent European cups etc to show for it ? Obviously the Premiership is still of a high standard but you must agree has been shown up by recent Heineken cup seasons, Lions squads and 6N's that the talent is in ML.

    You wouldn't pay to watch Paterson but yet England team is still built around one trick pony 'Wilko' :) Paterson actually runs back more ball than you think as well as have the best kicking stats in world rugby.

  • Comment number 21.

    John, I disagree almost entirely. It strikes me that the key difference between international rugby and club rugby is that of time that the player has on the ball. This cannot be taught. This is also Dan Parks' biggest failing. Whilst I am sure he is a lovely guy and I don't question his performances in a Glasgow shirt, I have travelled many hundreds of miles for several years to watch him underperform for Scotland. His kicks from hand are frequently charged down and his international goal kicking is useful only as a back-up to the truly great and under-rated Chris Paterson. I recently went to watch him play against Gloucester and whilst his 2 first half penalties kept Glasgow in contention, he disappeared in the second half and Glasgow sank without trace. That there are few other options at number 10 currently may be true but I fully support Andy Robinson's decision to give well deserving youngsters a chance. Parks has had his chance on the international stage and blown it time after time. One final comment - it may be harsh, but the sad reality for Dan Parks is that the cheers that resound around Murrayfield when he is hauled off for Scotland to be replaced by Godman are based on his performance alone, not any personal issue that Scottish fans have with an Australian.

  • Comment number 22.

    Good blog John.
    As a regular at Firhill, I have seen Parks control games from the first minute to last. He has the ability to dictate territory, set up tries (through kicking) and the one constant is his penalty kicking, which is immaculate.

    However, all the comments about his passing and all round stand off play are fair. There is a nervous murmur around the stadium when he attempts another long pass, which invariably results in the receiver being exposed or barely escaping an interception.

    Consequently, if the kicking game is not on form (as is often the case for Scotland) DP is painful to watch, and you're crying out for his replacement.

    I do agree though that he's earned his start, particularly after how poor Godman looked against Glasgow. If I was AR though, I'd keep Jackson / Hutton warmed up in the 1st 15 minutes!!!

    p.s. Have to laugh at the calls for Southwell. He's an accident waiting to happen and doesn't have the talent / brainpower to be a classy no. 10.

  • Comment number 23.

    SJ,

    The whole package of the GP is without doubt miles ahead of the ML. I mean, how many pointless games are there in the ML with teams putting second string squads out?? You simply can't do that in the GP!

    ML is like watching your 4 year old kid play rugby....yes it's lovely and you find it exciting but it's scrappy and disjointed. By no means am i saying the GP is a beautiful art form and can be very dull. It's just better than the ML.

    As for recent HK results.... 2shown up" is silly. their has been very little between the likes of Leicester and Munster for sometime but the Irish teams fully deserve their wins. They have simply been better on the day. But if the english squads were rested as well as the irish do you think it would change results? I do...
    And by rested i mean play as many competitive games.

    As for one trick pony JW....JW on a bad day is twice as good as Parks/Patterson on a good day. Again I agree he's not been as entertaining but his tackling and little touches were outstanding in the autumn although the rest was average.

    And the england team at present are not worth watching either. Boring as hell with little structure. But still...twice as entertaining as Scotland ;)

  • Comment number 24.

    Dan Parks will be the ideal fly-half...... when rugby becomes a non-contact sport. He's too soft and slow and only gets away with it in the magners league as most of the good teams (big Irish and Welsh teams) often play weak teams to save their big players for the European matches. If he starts to do it in Europe, then he might be worth another look, but I wouldn't hold my breath.

  • Comment number 25.

    Thanks John...another great blog.

    I totally agree with your comments about Dan Parks. His game, this season, has been sublime and he is, as you say, the man to keep the scoreboard ticking over.

    We, (supporters of the Scottish pro-teams) will rue the day Dan left Scotland to play in Wales. Mark my words!!!!

    For the others who have commented on future stand-offs; the man I would put my money on is Climo who plays for Ayr. I would not be at all surprised if he is invited to join the Scotland squad on a 'guest' basis, in a few weeks. AR will want to keep him warm and directed until he becomes eligible.

  • Comment number 26.

    David K,

    England only scored 1 try in the 3 AI's !!!! The games were abysmally boring and little Johnny making tackles without getting injured were your only highlight. I see us beating you at Murrayfield again like previous years and finishing higher in table too. Here is to hopefully an exciting tournament and some tries.

    p.s. Justin Marshall (multi-capped All Black and veteran of 3 WC's) along with other players and coaches (Gatland) have already been on record stating better skill levels of ML compared to Premiership. Lets agree to disagree :)

  • Comment number 27.

    SJ Er... and we scored a grand total of 2 vs Fiji.

    Statistically speaking that makes us twice as entertaining as England.

    Lies, damned lies and statistics etc...

  • Comment number 28.

    I agree that dan has been unfairly treated by Scottish supporters over the years. Virtually all his caps were won under Frank Hadden, when scotland played a fairly conservative game plan, with Parks being relied upon to kick for possession, and often behind a retreating pack.

    He has shown with Glasgow that he can stand flatter and distribute well. I think he should be recalled for the 6N, and hope he starts at 10 for the france game.

  • Comment number 29.

    Saltireblue,

    Already marked your words....under the subject heading 'comedy' lol

  • Comment number 30.

    So SJ...you're saying....

    All the people who played in the ML, coach in the ML and pick players from the ML are saying the ML has a higher skill level? Hmmmmmm...I wonder why........

    Tell you what....why don't we see if ML can stage a game at the Millenium stadium and sell it out.....

    Quins vs Wasps: 77,000.

  • Comment number 31.

    David K,

    Think Marshall now plays in Premiership as was deemed over the hill for ML and didn't cut it lol

    Believe I mentioned crowd attendences already as an exception for "obvious reasons"..mainly the population of London being bigger than even Scotland and Wales combined ! Canterbury Crusaders only get 15,000 for games so yoi saying that because 77,000 see Wasps makes them a better team ?

    ML is growing all the time and anyway I'm bored with this as we will never agree. France and Ireland are miles ahead of rest of 6N's too which I'm sure you must agree with.

    p.s.

    ScotsSevensNutjob, mute point. Out of context too with rest of arguement. Consider change of name to SaxoSevensnutjob lol

  • Comment number 32.

    This is an arguement which requires patience well beyond my means. Best settled over a beer.

    Disagree....france hit and miss. Ireland should win 6N but i can see Wales pulling themselves round. England could do well if they had the nuts to pick a team to win but that won't happen. Scotland will have a "classic" against Italy and lose.

  • Comment number 33.

    If Dan Parks could replicate his club form on the International stage, then I'd have him starting at 10 before any of the other contenders. Unfortunately he's had more than enough opportunities and hasn't shown the consistency or reliability that Warriors fans are used to.

    Due to only having two pro clubs we're never going to have a huge number of potential international players to pick from. We need to invest more time and resources in developing the young players we do have at 10 as opposed to limiting their opportunities by recalling the 31 year old Dan Parks for an arguably short term gain.

    I hope that Parks move to Cardiff leads to Jackson becoming the regular starting 10 for Glasgow and developing into a top class stand off over the next couple of years.

  • Comment number 34.

    And....having said all that I would still pick Dan Parks for Scotland. Best of a bad bunch.

    Has to be better than Phil Godman?...you know him SJ? That's the guy who had to leave the Falcons as he couldn't get a game ;)

  • Comment number 35.

    David K,

    Left the Falcons as a teenager whilst Wilkinson was in his pomp...come on now..your knowledge is proving quite thin :)

    England haven't beaten Scotland at Murrayfield for quite a while now, not even under the clueless Hadden so after watching England, intermitently between also the paint drying, get pumped during AI's I think less chance now. Borthwick wouldn't even make the Scotland A team squad and Hines will chew him up :)

  • Comment number 36.

    I actually think that Wales will be proven to be over rated this year and could prove England's big scalp. Seeing as your forwards will be too much for them and Wilko kicking 3 points.

  • Comment number 37.

    SJ,

    Don't mean to pedant but it's not mute point, it's moot point. or even moo point ;) (old friends gag 'it's like a cow's opinion, doesn't matter. It's moo')

    I like Dan as a player, and he's always seemed a nice guy in person as well. I think Glasgow will miss him more than Scotland. I forget who's flavour of the month just now, Jackson, Godman, Hutton etc

  • Comment number 38.

    Can someone tell me why Gordon Ross fell out of favour?

    He was a top quality 10, with a great boot, big tackles, bags of confidence, a complete passing, kicking and running game. He marshalled the defeat of the Springboks and then didn't get selected again after a pre-World Cup training squad.

    I understand he's at London Welsh but he might be just the ticket at Edinburgh or Glasgow. I'd be equally happy to see Hutton and Jackson get game time, but I don't like to see good players wasted.

    Also the way attrition in rugby is going, squad rotation a la NFL is not a million miles away. It wouldn't hurt to have more quality cover up here.

    Ross was the best player we had at a time when we needed a quality flyhalf but never got a chance to establish himself.

    What happened there?

  • Comment number 39.

    ScotsSevenNutjob - I am not sure what went wrong with Gordon Ross' career because I know he went to Saracens and did well. Your point about squad rotation is valid too.

    It's interesting that stand off has been a problem position for Scotland - we have lots and lots of back row players, good centres, strong wingers, but we have never been ble

    Methilmilan sj DavidK Rodders - it is as you all say, consistency. If Dan could be consistent then he is worth his place. You have to pick men on form if you want to win and he seems to have his confidence back

    Off coaching now in the slush.....

    JB

  • Comment number 40.

    Dan Parks is definitely the most on form man right now, but the same could have been said at other times when he didn't deliver.

    The problem is though, Godman just has no kicking game, Jackson is just back from a long time out and Rory Hutton, well one pro match...

    I think Parks should get the nod but I just hope that if he is picked, he will show the form for Scotland which he has been for Glasgow.

  • Comment number 41.

    A ridiculous initial post from John Beattie.

    Firsty he has had 47 chances and has been a disaster in so so many of them.

    Secondly its outrageous to claim he hasnt been liked as he is an Aussie - I love the Aussies as do many others who dont want him in our team and our reason has been that he he has been an unmitigated disaster - he was only kept there as he was "in" with the other disaster that was Hadden. Good for Glasgow - absolutely. But no use for Scotland for whatever reason. Many fair comments above - frightened to tackle, goes for and and gives crazy interceptions, provides no running threat and is entirely predictable etc etc.

    And maybe he doesnt really care when he plays for Scotland - that may well be why he plays so well for the club that pay his wages but not for the country (ie OURS) that he has been given 47 chances for.

    No thanks Dan, no thanks John we've had more than enough

  • Comment number 42.

    Would it be possible for you to find out what went wrong with Gordon Ross, John?

    Perhaps this article should not be called 'Can Scotland afford to jettison Dan Parks?' but 'Why was Gordon Ross, Scotland's best flyhalf prospect, treated so badly for so long?'

  • Comment number 43.

    ScotsSevensNutjob - looks like Gordon Ross is playing for London Welsh he has scored 7 points in 9 games for them this season and will be 32 in March. I am not sure anything "went wrong" with Gordon who is a superb player but he was understudy to Dan Parks for much of his time at his peak. yes, a real talent who never got the caps perhaps he merited.

    Thank F Hadden Has Gone - The club players in Scotland are centrally contracted so it's the same money - BBC fee for Six Nations, sponsorship and gate money. I just wonder if, under Andy Robinson't guidance, he could become a key player though I know he has his critics

    There is a thaw on but bronchitis is the key issue with me at the moment, oh what joy

    JB

  • Comment number 44.


    7 points from 9 games isn't very good.

    It'll be interesting to see how many starts Jackson will get at ten for Glasgow, given how important the Magniers is this year. HC games only?

    Anyone think that Dan Parks looks like Moist Von Lipwig from the Terry Pratchett novels?

    http://www.conferre.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/Lipwig.JPG

  • Comment number 45.

    I agree with many of the things you say about Dan Parks John - particularly as a player for Glasgow he's been great. You can see him inspire the team and organise the backs effectively. However with an East-biased Murrayfield crowd I'm not sure if he will ever be given a fair go at International level at home and psychologically that can be corrosive. I don't blame him for leaving and wish him well.

    The future is with the youngsters coming through and I just hope the Murrayfield fans will give Ruaridh Jackson a chance to mature and make the odd mistake when he's back to fitness and re-selected for Scotland (as he I know he will be).

    As for Hugo "I missed another tackle but don't I look pretty" Southwell playing at 10 my advice is to stay away from the exotic tobacco.

    I think there is a way to go for the national side but we're heading the right direction in terms of finance / organisation / training and management and there are some very exciting players coming through the teams.

    One plea while I'm on here (for both clubs) - why doesn't anyone advertise the club games? We need more people to support the professional game and that includes potential fans that have never been interested in rugby before.

  • Comment number 46.

    jocksaway70 - I find it slightly strange that no-one on this blog has mentioned Southwell for no 10 but you still feel the need to defame his character by humourless innuendo. I actually agreed with much of what you wrote but found this part inappropriate and possibly slanderous.

    But its only t'internet so it doesn't really matter . . .

  • Comment number 47.

    The problem with Dan Parks is that, whilst he is undoubtably one of the greatest Magners League players ever, he has never seriously come good for Scotland. His performances in the blue and white were never outstanding, and whilst he has had some good performances, he is not consistently the player he is domestically. He was also unlucky that during his time in the Scotland squad, he was constantly in the shadow of Chris Paterson, for me the best Scotland player of all time, who was a much better kicker, more creative, and never had a set position (FB, Wing, FH). Right now, I think Andy Robinson is turning Phil Godman into a very good international fly half, by giving him a lot of game time. He was very good during the Autumn series, and to me has made the 10 jersey his.
    I think it would be worth giving Parks a recall for the six nations, and use him as a substitute stand off, and for the first two games alternate between him and Godman. Considering that Scotland havent had a consistent FH for years, the future looks pretty bright for Scotland with Parks, Godman, Jackson, Blair and maybe even Southwell, given his time at FH for Scotland A in the autumn...

  • Comment number 48.

    I was not a fan of Dan Parks when he began for Glasgow and Scotland, but the fact is, He is the top scorer of the ML.
    A shame though, from the M.Williams era, Parks was part of a shy and "what to do on the pitch" Scottish team, and the Number 10 Jersey was the first to receive the critics.
    Sorry to say that, but at present there is not a Scottish 10 at International level.
    The truth is, Scotland for 10 years was in dire for some key post in the XV not at 10 only...
    About a comment above;
    "If fellow kilted Antipodeans like Lineen, Metcalfe and the Leslie brothers were good enough for Scots fans then Dan should be as well".
    Sorry, Metcalfe and Leslie brothers made much more impact the Scottish Jersey.
    Anyway, Parks is the number 10 to play in the 6 Nations.
    I've supported Scotland for more than 15 years now (even I'm French), and will support for ever.
    And I'm much more confident now for the future!



  • Comment number 49.

    Godman was so poor in both games, it's not surprising Parks is under consideration, by commentators at least. Quite how much proof is required that he is incapable of raising his gae to international standard, I don't know, but he has been selected for internationals before when playing well for Glasgow and been a liability on the pitch. This is the man who very recenlty kicked an up and under behind his own team twice in one match, costing them 8 points. This is the man who is so weak defensively, cover has to be constantly provided for him and that is a luxury denied international teams. He is not nearly good enough, but he appears to be the best we have at the moment. Godman's loss of form and Jackson's just too late return to action could not have been more damaging to our 6 Nations prospects.

  • Comment number 50.

    Hugues and Ally Gory

    You are both right of course. Parks is scoring points, and as Ally says Godman has been really unlucky to have had to play in the losing team in the local derby when not fully fit. I think Godman, on his day, is one of the best player around at encouraging runners to run off him in attack and he is no mean defender.

    Ally, I know what you say but Parks is probably a confidence player - yes he has put in some poor kicks as up and unders - and his confidence is probably high just now.

    I wonder how significant it is that he has been rested for this weekend's game - all the others rested by Glasgow would be deemed to be starters against France in a few weeks.

    In my further health report the bronchitis is lifting, at long last I have had a few nights of sleep, and I can look forward to Firhill on Friday without the fear of death from freezing.

    Ruck and roll is best for everyone

    JB

    JB

  • Comment number 51.

    Hello,

    Just want to add a couple things that stick out to me, one is defence and the other is 1872 games.

    It has been mentioned a lot in commentary and news articles, that in defence Parks stands at full back and Stortoni at fly half. Why? Probably because Parks can kick well from the back, Stortoni is a good defender and Parks isn't. But I just don't see this being an option at International level, you can't switch players round because one can't be trusted to tackle. A good team would exploit this, plus if the first line of defence was broken then the last person I'd want in between an attacker and try line is Parks. Godman may not be the biggest hitter in the world but he puts his body in the way and very rarely misses a tackle.

    A lot has been made of the 1872 games but for me the biggest thing was difference between the two packs. Glasgow looked hungry for contact and the ball whereas Edinburgh were disjointed and lacked urgency. As a result Parks had plenty of good ball and was able to dictate the game, unlike Godman who was on the back foot and struggled to get into the game. Would Parks have faired any better in the Edinburgh team? Would Godman have made more of the ball than Parks for Glasgow? Who knows or cares.

    I don't think we saw much more from the Glasgow backline than we did from the Edinburgh back-line. We didn't see much of either in fact, either because Edinburgh didn't have any ball or because Parks kicks everything.

  • Comment number 52.

    # reallybored
    Good point.

  • Comment number 53.

    @51 Really bored.

    Combine your observation on the powerful Glasgow pack's domination of Edinburgh being key to victory, with the excellent Scotsman article on the Glasgow forwards, 'The Kids Are All Bright' and a good feeling should emerge.
    http://scotlandonsunday.scotsman.com/sport/Rugby-The-kids-are-all.5926389.jp

    My personal favourite line:
    "Glasgow's starting pack complete with their ages in December, 2015:
    1, Jon Welsh (29); 2, Fergus Thomson (32); 3, Moray Low (31); 4, Al Kellock (34); 5, Richie Gray (26); 6, Richie Vernon (28); 7, John Barclay (29); 8, Johnnie Beattie (30)."

    If the Glasgow pack is kept together over the next 3 years this should lead to a ML win and a big run in the HC. Powerful pack, excellent outbacks and hopefully an exciting, running, passing 10.

    The Munster pack NOW: Hayes [36], Quinlan [35], Horan [32], O'Callaghan [30], O'Connell [30], Wallace [33], Flannery [31].

    I'm very optimistic for Glasgow in the next few years.

  • Comment number 54.

    Parks is indeed a confidence player and I'm afraid I think we stand a bigger chance of losing when he is sufficiently confident to try long passes and speculative kicking. He must be considered a stand-in, if he plays, as there is simply too much evidence of his lack of ability at international level to make his recall permanent.

    The 1872 matches were a curiosity, as, although Cusiter seemed to have a poor game at Murrayfield, he allowed Parks to have a good one. I thought Laidlaw was good and wonder if Edinburgh are missing Mike Blair, a player I've never seen justify the hype.

    Even when Godman's fully fit, he does seem to either telegraph his moves or mystify his own players and I would dearly like to see our scrum halves given a decent run at playing 10, as the French do. We seem to have a surfeit of good scrum halves and a puzzling intransigence in selection and tactical planning, though it might be best to ensure we don't drop the ball quite as much as we've been inclined to first.

  • Comment number 55.

    Scotsevensnutjob - interesting, rugby players are going on later and some of the Glasgow boys,if they remain uninjured, could be at their peak a while yet.

    Ally Gory - intersting, I wonder if scrum halves could play stand offs as you say

    Weekend nearly here

    JB

  • Comment number 56.

    I know Cusiter didn't get too many games at Perpignan, but maybe, as with Southwell at Paris, he was played out of position in training.

    Anyway, enjoy your weekend and let's hope Edinburgh give Ulster a good doing and Glasgow snuff out the Dragons' fire.

  • Comment number 57.

    #ScotsSevensNutjob
    It would be nice to keep the Glasgow pack growing together, but the money will miss I'm afraid...

  • Comment number 58.

    Used to think his name was Dan Park-Kicks!

  • Comment number 59.

    Dan is in the squad

    JB

 

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