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Only so many kicks a man can take

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John Beattie | 19:13 UK time, Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Ach, the retirement of Dan Parks leaves me with a strange feeling in my guts. It's not the finest moment in the history of our game nor in our relationship with our players.

As a journalist and a fan I feel tarnished by this in a way I find hard to explain.

I think he retired after the World Cup but was persuaded to come back to help Scotland in this Six Nations as Ruaridh Jackson was injured and neither Greig Laidlaw nor Duncan Weir were deemed ready.

And then with one charged down kick - which I am on record as saying wasn't his fault because it was a crazy exit strategy and his team mates didn't help him - England scored the only try of the game.

And he got most of the blame.

He is, I am told, a great bloke and he told his team mates he was leaving in a tear-filled speech.

If I am totally honest I suspect that even Dan Parks knew during his time in a blue jersey that he had limitations, but then so have we all and in all walks of life.

But, because he was of Australian descent, I think Dan Parks has always been a more fragile target than he might otherwise had been.

I know that might be an unacceptable thing to say, but just as in the treatment of Matt Williams, the Aussie who coached Scotland, the target was always easier because, probably, the target wasn't going to stay in Scotland.

A stand-off handles the ball as much as anyone, Parks was the goal-kicker and drop-kicker too.

He never looked like the hardest tackling player in the business. Dan Parks, in short, was high profile.

I watched him single-handedly win games for Glasgow. I watched him win games for Scotland - remember that last minute touchline penalty in Dublin?

And I've watched him pat what appeared to be the bottom of every team mate during games. He has an extraordinary mind, honed from memorising car number plates as a wee boy.

How to end this?

I feel that a player who wanted to retire and get away from the (only sometimes) negative attention then found himself invited back into the squad, parachuted into the team for the first Six Nations, and then subject to criticism when the team lost with him in the starting fifteen.

We'll find out very soon whether he knew he had been dropped or whether the bad press became too much... and my suspicion is that it was the former.

Two things come to mind: the first is that he has been a superb servant to Scotland who won games for Glasgow and Scotland with some extraordinary play, usually involving a precision kick of one type or another.

The second is that all things must pass and a new man will play in the Number 10 jersey.

Whatever, I can't help but feeling that of all the players Scotland has ever fielded, Dan Parks is the one player who has had more unwarranted criticism than any other.

I don't feel very proud.


Page 1 of 3

  • Comment number 1.

    I was thinking too, after this was published, if you'd want to leave a message for Dan here then you can.

  • Comment number 2.

    You summed it up John "high profile"

    I saw games when we were on the front foot and his tactical kicking kept the opposition pinned down and gave the forwards great platforms.

    In games when we struggled he would get the blame, sometimes deserved and he never looked happy taking contact.

    All in all he was as good as we could call upon for many games, and the same could be said for most positions.

    My only criticism would be that he never seemed to mix his game with midfield chips or running himself, it was just deep kicks or a pass, that said good luck and thank you to him

    Oh and that game was ours to take, how many scoring positions does a team need to make and blow

    Robinsons tactics gave us numerous chances but players nerve or basic skills let us down, stooping to catch a pass or jumping to catch one kills momentum and gives defences vital yards

    finally when will Lamont learn that he is allowed to pass after a line break.............rant over

  • Comment number 3.

    I'm probably as guilty as the next Scot for being quick to blame Dan for his boot rather than his running the ball, but I have to salute him for the number of penalties he slotted home over the years and remember the great years he had.

    Thank you, Dan and good luck for the future, it would be great to see you as a kicking coach on the national team.

  • Comment number 4.

    We all on occasions have selective memories, or allow short term emotion to blur a broader perspective. Dan was a great servant of Scottish Rugby, and by all accounts a great team player - His great games outweigh his off games. An honourable exit for a great player. 3 MOM awards in a year is more than most get in a career. Thank You Dan

  • Comment number 5.

    Thank you. I think this is a very sensitive and nice comment on a player who gave good service to Scotland and Glasgow. Perhaps the charged down kick makes an unfortunate end to a fine international career.

    As you imply, the media tend to give polarised views, and often miss the middle road (where most things lie).......

  • Comment number 6.

    Another good blog John. You have a knack for writing what people are thinking. Unfortunately, Dan Parks became a scapegoat for the team. A reason to say why we weren't winning games. Whilst, I hold my hands up and say he wasn't always on form, I am a firm believer that rugby is a team sport. You win as a team, you lose as one. No individual can be held responsible. What some supporters have said, has left me with a bad taste in my mouth, and it makes me sad to think that is how people 'support'. Sadly, I can already see unwarranted criticism starting on a few other players.

  • Comment number 7.

    Couldn't agree more John.
    He has been a good servant to Glasgow and Scotland Rugby and his experience will be missed. Like many, he had his bad days but he was always 100% committed and I don't think you can say the same about all his peers! I thought the booing he got from certain sections of the Edinburgh and Scotland fans (So-called!) when he came on to the pitch was appalling and I hope that is not his abiding memory of Scotland! Thanks for the many good memories Parks'y and good luck, wherever the future takes you. Also, I thought he showed more organisational and leadership skills on Saturday than the nominated captain! What is that all about? Surely Robinson must find room in his Team for the one true leader of men we have in our ranks...... Al Kellock!

  • Comment number 8.

    Firstly, I want to congratulate Dan on a remarkable career with Scotland., as commend him on the obvious passion he showed for his adopted homeland, which at time seemed far more prevelant than many around him.

    Secondly, I hope the press in general, as you have here John, hold up their hands and accept some blame for the unceremonious demise that is so ill-fitting of a player who has won games for Scotland many, many times.

    But as fans, we have been equally to blame. It is so typically Scottish to bemoan the player who takes the chance and fluffs it, only to conveniently forget it when the chance does come off. We have all seemed to forget, for instance, the amount of games that a sometimes explosive, sometimes butterfingered Townsend also cost us. We rue the chances we don't take, we villainise those who take them.

    We cannot and should not let this affect our approach to the forthcoming games, yet it seems difficult to see how that might happen. I can only hope that someone will step up to try to control a backline who currently think far too much of themselves. I hope someone can bring together a team who will put an end to this constant, frustrating name calling and inflated senses of self worth.

    I hope for the sake of the game, every player and fan can look at themselves and finally get a grip. We have just lost the leading points scorer and playmaker in our team, and to be honest, I hope he retires as well as he deserves, which is a great deal.

    Step up Scotland, meet your critics and play for the credit you think you deserve. For too long, only a few men have deserved their blue shirts.

    Dan Parks was one of them.

  • Comment number 9.

    Sorry to see you go Dan as you deserved to leave on a high. You always gave your all and no one could ask for more than that! All the best for the future!

  • Comment number 10.

    First things first. The Kick that was charged down did not lose us the match. If Rennie had gotten has pass away, if the try had been awarded to Laidlaw, if we could have stopped dropping the flaming ball at crucial moments. All these combined lost us the match.

    Dan Parks always put his heart and sole into every game that he played and this was always specially true when he pulled on the Scotland shirt. That he has had to carry the can for some woeful team performances is a shame on all of us.

    I wish Dan all the best for the future and maybe we'll see him come through as a coach one day.

  • Comment number 11.

    I believe that a huge "Thanks" from all Scotland supporters is more than deserved.

    I truly believe that he gave 100% every time he played for us and that is surely as much as any of us could ever ask. A real gent and a team player.

    All the best Dan

  • Comment number 12.

    Stand offs always seem to be the ones most open to criticism when a team fails and with Dan there was to be no exception. At times he has been the reason that we have won games. Lets face it we can't score tries and so without him we might have lost many more games over the last few years. The one thing that I have noticed during his playing career is how much he talks to and encourages younger players. When he decides to hang up his Cardiff boots the RFU would do well to sign him up in some sort of coaching capacity - perhaps working with the youth teams. Dan you have given me great joy (Argentina tour and the 2011 six nations) and I wish you well.

  • Comment number 13.

    If Andy Robinson can now say that this is the right time for Dan Parks to retire, you have to wonder what on earth he was thinking about in picking him for the England match in the first place. Has he suddenly got worse in the space of one match or was he simply not the right man for the job - as pretty much all bloggers were saying before kick off.

    A poor, poor selection.

  • Comment number 14.

    I love parks' charisma when he played well, which really was most of the time. Who else have we had who'll drop from half-way for 3 points before half-time...or start running in celebration, finger wagging while the ball is still in flight? Went to rwc2007 and rwc2011...did as much and often more to win games than any other player...and don't forget 6nations 2010. One of our don't get that many caps for nothing...and if the rest of the backs had his composure god knows bow good we'd be?! All the best Mr parks and thanks!

  • Comment number 15.

    Very sad. Parks was a loyal servant to Scottish Rugby and did not deserve to carry that cross himself. In the twilight of his career however there was no way back. High stakes in the modern game. Good luck in the future Dan and don't be afraid to hold your head high.

  • Comment number 16.

    Agree wholeheartedly John!

    If he'd retired after that game in Dublin, or indeed the SOUTH AFRICA game (reigning WORLD CHAMPIONS at the time, might I remind people!), he might well have been getting a send-off from the Murrayfield crowd akin to that experienced by Chris Paterson on saturday.

    Every single international rugby player lays their body on the line when they walk on the pitch (just ask Thom Evans!), possibly even more so when they are the size and build of Parks against some of these modern players- that alone deserves our respect and thanks.

    All the best Dan- I wish you well for the rest of your rugby career, and life beyond- I'm sure you could well become a valued coach with all your experience and technical knowledge of the game- perhaps even to Scotland's further gain, if you can forgive the fickle nature of our fans?!

  • Comment number 17.

    Thanks Dan, thank you for all the good games - and there were many.
    Thanks for recognising that perhaps, like Chris, that age had caught up a wee bit.

  • Comment number 18.

    Well the first three letters of your article says it for me. "Ach" gets to the guts of the thing and I believe that Dan Parks had guts in his endeavour, as well as incisive skill in his boot. Bittersweet though, in signing off post defeat rather than gloriously retiring. Nevertheless this provokes more reflection for the Scottish fan, and I hope some motivation for his team mates to carry pride into their next game. I'm back to my own guts...Ach :0(

  • Comment number 19.

    Only thing you can ask of someone for club or country is that they give 100%. Dan had more than his fare share of critics but in his 60+ caps for his country I have no doubt that he gave that 100% every time he pulled on a warriors shirt or the dark blue of Scotland.
    Can only hope that Scotland fans can be given the chance to give the 10 the farewell that he deserves.
    Great blog John and sums up that strange feeling that most fans will have with regards to today's news.
    Wish you all the best Dan (except against Warriors and Gunners) in the future,

  • Comment number 20.

    Scottish supporters do need to be grateful to Dan Parks, and remember the good times as well as the times when he was not on form. He was certainly the best option available for considerable periods when both Williams and Hadden were coaching the side. in 2010 he made Robinson pick him again on form, and 3 MOM awards tell their own story. When he was good he was GOOD, but I'm sure he was as disappointed as all the rest of us when things didn't go so well.

    Are we lucky to have had him in the side over the last 8 years - absolutely. There were times when the fly-half cupboard was pretty bare, and things could have been a lot worse if he had never come over from Oz. Hopefully Messrs Jackson, Laidlaw and Weir have the position covered for the next few years between them.

    So thanks for everything Dan - I'm sure you caused me to shout in joy more than often than in frustration. Enjoy the rest of the season with Cardiff, and best wishes for whatever you decide to do in the future.

  • Comment number 21.

    Dan Parks, the Marmite (or is that veggiemite as they say down under?) player of Scottish Rugby.

    One thing's for sure, he's one of a kind, and when he was on form he was irrepressible.

    When his kicking boots were on the wrong way round there there wasn't a decent Plan B though. Reverting to a passing game simply tee'd up the opposition defense because they knew Dan would never run it himself. He didn't keep them honest. And yet, he was the best there was. He was at the heart of all the great Scottish victories in recent years which would not have been achieved with any other player in the short term.

    I'm sure he has a great career ahead of him in whatever he does because he appears, even to people on the outside, to have a human quality that is inspiring and genuine. Maybe a stint in the NFL, or as mentioned previously, as Scotland's kicking coach - if we deserve him.

    Good luck Dan!

  • Comment number 22.

    Thanks for writing this blog JB; it seems very humble and honest.

    I've never posted about rugby before, but I trust you can forgive me as I do, at least, regularly read your articles.

    I was sorry to hear about Dan Parks retirement this afternoon on my way back from a holiday. I was also rather saddened (maybe even a little sickened) when I began to speculate on the possible reasons behind it.

    I've never really understood the criticism which seemed to be directed at this player from certain sections of the fans and media. As far as I'm concerned every player has good days, middling days and off days; every player has his strengths and weaknesses; Dan Parks was no different. Perhaps as you say, his Australian background made him an easy target, perhaps his high profile. Neither should matter and certainly never did, never will, to me. Of course criticisms can be made when things have not gone well, but I feel as far as he was concerned much of it went too far, went "over the score" as my mother used to say. This treatment has made me far more annoyed, far more ashamed than any performance or result during his tenure in the jersey. I very much hope when he looks back on his career he knows that such singling out came merely from a (admittedly vocal) minority.

    At the end of the day I believe Dan Parks has been a tremendous addition to rugby in recent years. Yes, there have been low points, but also what highs! One man does not make a team but he has certainly made many valuable, entertaining and memorable contributions and for that he should be lauded.

    I have no idea whether you, JB, will pass on any sentiments expressed here to him or even if he may read this himself but, for the record, I would like to thank Mr. Parks for his dedication to his Scotland career, his many telling contributions during that period and I salute his fortitude in doing so, in particular, when the circumstances must have seemed extremely trying. I very much wish him all the best in his continuing club career and for the future in whatever he decides to do when he finally retires from the game completely.

    Adrian Wright, Kilmarnock

  • Comment number 23.

    I met him in a nightclub once in Glasgow just after the 2007 world cup, when in the quarter final against Argentina he conceded a try from a charge down kick and over-hit a cross-field kick in the final minutes to Lamont. I went up to speak to him in the nightclub, he seemed devastated about the last game in the world cup. He insisted on buying me and my friends drinks though and talked to us about rugby. Can understand why he was such a popular guy in the team.

    I agree that its a shame all the stick he received, he always played his heart out and had some great games for Scotland. Its a saddening way to see a player, who we have loved and hated so many times in a Scotland jersey over the last few years, leave.

    Thanks for the memories "Dan the man"

  • Comment number 24.

    As an Englander I have to say that I always liked Parksy. I will be sorry not to see him playing for Scotland again. He was not to blame for "That Try" as has been said. Commentators on Saturday kept saying that Parks doesn't get the ball high enough when he kicks. What a lot of poo. How high does he have to kick it?? On Saturday, with a man bearing down on him, he needed distance. Attempting a high kick in that situation would have landed the ball on his 22 with the majority of his team standing in off-side positions. Well that's my view. So bye Dan I'll miss you and your superb side whiskers as well.

  • Comment number 25.

    Given that I covered Glasgow Warriors for The Glaswegian newspaper, Dan was often a topic of discussion. Sure he had his off days for both club and country but who didn't? No more than any other player. Yet for some reason, there were those who sought him out for particular attention when it came to criticising the man. My inbox when at the Glaswegian would receive many an email on Dan Parks. You could tell which ones were from Glasgow fans - they were generally supportive of him. The ones from Edinburgh fans on the other hand..... Some did explain in a rational manner why they didn't think he should start for Scotland by focussing on his rugby talents alone. They were sadly in the minority. The majority of emails from non-Glasgow Warriors fans were vitriolic to say the least and would always centre on one aspect - Dan's Australian birthplace. Scotland for Scots players only they would cry - yet the 'strength in purity lobby' would never mention Dan's fellow Aussie-born team-mate Nathan Hines (who just so happened used to play for Edinburgh). They would also neglect to mention other 'kilted antipodeans' to have played for Scotland. Sean Lineen, Glenn Metcalfe and John & Martin Leslie. Nor would they mention other Scots not born in Scotland like David Sole, Damian Cronin or even the writer of the blog above. Yet they would act as if Dan was the first to cite a Scottish relative who was born in Scotland in order to be eligible.
    Two years ago, I wrote the below for The Glaswegian when Dan announced he would be leaving Glasgow for Cardiff:-
    To say my inbox was bulging after publication would be an understatement. Some in support of Dan, others flashing the pitchforks and torches.
    At times when being interviewed he could be reticent but given the flack flung in his direction, it was understandable.
    However, when his confidence was up and when he was on form, Glasgow and Scotland would benefit enormously. You do not become the League's top scorer without having some talent.
    No doubt he will be tempted to head back to Australia once his Cardiff contract expires and given how some members of the public - who need to take a long hard look at themselves - treated him, he couldn't be blamed for doing so.
    However, he possesses a intelligent rugby brain and hopefully he will follow Sean Lineen's example and decide to stick around and put even more back into the Scottish game as a coach.
    Whatever his decision, good luck Dan and although some Scotland fans displayed a less than gracious attitude towards you, there were those who appreciated your efforts and thank you for them.
    All the best Dan

    Matthew Leslie

  • Comment number 26.

    I am by no means an expert in rugby, however it was clear to even me that Dan Parks was certainly not the main person to blame for Scotland's defeat. As with our football players, we seem to be incapable of performing the basics of the sport at the highest level. Chances were made and not taken with regularity, usually due to basic errors. Mis-handling, poor timing of passes and often an inability to offload in the tackle, let alone find a team mate from a couple of yards when clean through as we wirnessed on Saturday, have left us relying on the likes of Dan Parks to kick us to victory or at least to respectability in many of our recent games.

    I suspect that there is not enough time given to practicing the basics of the sport, leaving our senior players unable to match those from the southern hemisphere. The basis of all teams should be first and foremost the ability to catch the ball and to be able to through it to a team member. these are the areas we always seem to fall down on.

    The manager has hardly covered himself in glory by appearing to suggest that Dan has deteriorated over the last three days to such an extent that his first choice on Saturday, was doing the right thing in retiring. Shame on him!!

    I would like to thanks Dan Parks for his services to ours' and HIS team, Scotland.
    I only wish that he had left on a high with the thanks fo the country clearly communicated. For him to be made a scapegoat for Saturday's performance leaves a nasty taste in my mouth, so hopefully the messages of support on this blog will demonstrate the true feelings of the fans.

  • Comment number 27.

    I'm pretty sure we will hear during many future Scotland games someone say something like "What Scotland need right now, is a player like Dan Parks".

    He was one of my favourite players and he will be missed.

  • Comment number 28.

    As you said the guy has had some fantastic games for Scotland and Glasgow, on his day his tactical kicking is second to none. I didn't agree with his selection last weekend, however it was not his fault he was picked. I like many other fans here probably also directed a lot more critisism at Dan last weekend than he deserved. He seems like a decent bloke and the poor guy looked utterly distraught after the try. I feel sorry that his international career has ended on a low. It's not fitting for a guy with almost 70 caps and some real standout performaces along the way.

    I hope he can get back to his best and enjoying his rugby again with Cardiff and perhaps we'll see him again in a coaching role. I think his influence on Jackson and Weir at Glasgow has improved them tremendously.

  • Comment number 29.

    I'll hold my hand up and say that I've shouted at him on TV more than once. I also hold my hand up and say that despite his well talked about weaknesses as a player I was always quick to talk up his strengths.

    As has been said he was at the heart of many of our victories over the past few years and his performance in 2010 was thoroughly outstanding. Also as has already been said: he didn't pick himself and he was only one man in a team of 22. He got his share of criticism and probably the share of several other people as well.

    As a Cardiff Blues as well as a Scotland fan I'll be able to keep seeing him play, at least for the foreseeable future. You can see from the way he plays and talks that he throws himself 100% into every game and can you really ask for more?

    Its a shame that he retired under such a cloud, and you are right JB, I don't feel proud, I feel a bit off, as if something underhanded has happened.

    Hopefully he'll get to see the messages of support and gratitude here. God knows he's probably seen enough criticism over the years.

    Good luck for the future Dan, and thank you for all your efforts.

    Dan MacMillan, Northampton

  • Comment number 30.

    Dan Parks should be remembered as a great Scottish rugby player. I will remember Dan Parks as a great Scottish rugby player.

    Dan thanks for all the wonderful memories and I wish you every success on the future with whatever you decide to do.

  • Comment number 31.

    I'd like to add my personal thanks to a man who both loved and enjoyed his time with Scotland. I've never had any doubts where his loyalties lay. John, you've pretty well expressed my own sentiments. I feel Dan has done the honourable thing today. I alreday had deep respect for the man and I wish him well in the future. Dan, if you're ever around Paisley, I owe you a pint.

  • Comment number 32.

    Good luck to him. Despite any errors or bad performances, there were many many excellent performances which will hopefully be remembered by all.

  • Comment number 33.

    As a Welshman I can say that Dan Parks was feared by the opposition, and respected in equal measure for the fair, decent player he was in domestic and international rugby.

    Good luck to you Dan in all you do in the future!

  • Comment number 34.

    Good luck in the future Dan. A lot of us did appreciate you hugely.

  • Comment number 35.

    Just wanted to say it has been great watching Dan Parks during his career. Appreciated his performances for both Glasgow and Scotland. He always appeared to care and show more heart in games than alot of players. Can only wonder how many games Glasgow and Scotland would have lost without his efforts.

    Thanks Dan. Good luck in whatever you do

  • Comment number 36.

    Is it so ridiculous to suggest that Dan retired for the good of the team? Is this the ultimate act of a real team player?

  • Comment number 37.

    I won't be two-faced and say I'm sorry to see Dan go. I was one of many who thought that his time had come before the England match and I still do. However, I can only dream of acheiving what Dan has.
    His great legacy to Scottish rugby is that he gave 100% in every game, and there are a good few who have pulled on the blue jersey who have not. He seems a really nice bloke, and perhaps that's his rugby problem-he's too nice to smash oppostion players.
    No more could have been asked of him, and he had the courage to step up to the plate when no-one else was available.
    Robinson did him an injustice by asking him to play when he knew that public opinion was against his inclusion in the side. He was on a hiding to nothing last Saturday, and it must have affected his play. The booing of him was shameful.
    Thank you Dan for being so loyal, and I wish you well for the future. We Scottish supporters owe you a lot, but also the team as a group owes us too.

  • Comment number 38.

    Aye John, I think you've caught the mood well - " a strange feeling in my gut". I'd have liked to see Dan go out on a high, or even to have retired between the world cup and the start of the 6 Nations would have seemed more 'natural'. But as it is, going after just one game with how that game went, leaves me feeling a bit awkward.

    I hope he's remembered for the 2010 season, both for Glasgow and Scotland.

    The other year Scotland did an open training session and we went along as a family. Afterwards the players walked along the front of the west stand at Murrayfield signing autographs and posing for photo's. Dan was behind Max Evans in the line. I went to take a photo of them with my kids. Dan pulled back to try and get out the pic, wrongly thinking we just wanted a picture of Max. How wrong he was, my youngest son (8 years old) is a big Dan fan. But it kind of summed the guy up for me - a little shy (despite the side burns), a humble man.

    Dan - Thanks for all the games you played both for Glasgow and Scotland. You've been a class act and myself and my kids wish you well for all that lies ahead. A warm welcome will always be yours in Glasgow - once a Warrior, always a Warrior.

  • Comment number 39.

    Thanks Dan. Good bloke, 100% committed to Scotland despite the level of abuse direct at him by 'fans' and the media. Clearly appreciated by his teammates and was a visable communicator and encourager on the pitch. I hope you can take great pride in everything you have done for Scotland.

  • Comment number 40.

    I was fortunate enough to be at Croke park in 2010 when Dan had what I regard as one of his best games in a blue shirt!

    Take a bow Dan and thanks for the many happy memories!!

  • Comment number 41.

    Like all individuals Dan Parks had his good and bad games/moments. However the position he played in the team which John alluded to meant that any mistakes he made were more blatant and easy to criticise. I'm first to admit that I have not always been Dan's number 1 fan but his performances for Glasgow in 2009/10 and in the 2010 6 Nations were absolutely outstanding and showcased the class and talent that Dan possessed but did not always show.

    All the best to Dan in the future both on and off the pitch

  • Comment number 42.

    It's a shame that a good servant has had his international career ended like this. Over the course he did far more good than bad in a Scotland shirt and people should really remember that.

    I also don't blame him for the try on saturday. He should never have received the ball there. And Robinson carries the blame for me. It was clear for all to see that Weir or Laidlaw should have started ahead of Dan.

    Anyway to cut a long story short all the best Dan and thanks for your 100% effort, excellent kicking game and playing the game with a smile on your face. Apologies for the morons amongst us that felt it necessary to use you as a scapegoat for other failings in the side.

  • Comment number 43.

    Dan showed leadership, skill and respect in his games. Will miss his special sideburns and bum pats. Good luck for the future Mr Parks - I hope we have not heard the last from you!!

  • Comment number 44.

    It has yet to be mentioned that Dan Parks is still a country mile ahead of everyone as the highest points scorer of all time in the Celtic League in the same era as the likes of O'Gara, Stephen Jones, Contepomi and even Sir Chris of Gala.

    Dan, you deserve to be rightly proud of your remarkable contributions and achievements in a Scotland shirt. A massive thanks to you for always giving The Thistle your best shot. The good people of Scotland adopted you as one of their own because you proved yourself to us and earned the right.

    I'm a Warriors fan and you'll always get a warm welcome in my neighbourhood. Hats off to you, Sir and wishing you every future happiness and success.

  • Comment number 45.

    One memory I have is during a Scotland game, I had to turn around to stop a "Scotland fan" shouting abuse at Parks. Parks wasn't even in the squad for that game. Cant underestimate the ignorance of some "fans"

  • Comment number 46.

    As a fan what you want is for a player, and the team, once picked to go out an give their all for the jersey. If you're off form and get picked its not your fault. All you can do is go out there and do your best and I believe Dan always gave what he could for the team and the jersey.

  • Comment number 47.

    I think my greatest memory of him was not a period of dashing play or a last second high pressure kick to win the match. It was the post match interview after Wales had somehow managed to steal "that" victory in Cardiff. I don't know if I have ever seen a more dejected figure in my life. But there he was, fronting up to the media, speaking from the heart and, dare I say, for a nation of fans. You are right to suggest that he got more stick than was necessary because of where he was born and I have strange feeling in my gut that we will be even more stuck without him than we would have been with him- especially next week. A weak back line - just got weaker. In years to come I hope is remembered as the man that made us understand that not every import is mercenary and rugby is a game won and lost as a team.

  • Comment number 48.

    I was one of his detractor when he arrived first at Glasgow and complained because in my point of view he did not have the level to play International Rugby, however he was not a full professionnal in Australia before coming to Scotland.

    He improved and won games with his BOOT for Glasgow and Scotland.
    I have to be honnest, I was angry when I saw his flat kick last Saturday!

    I feel ashamed today, because I met him in the Firhill bar one night (he offered his jersey to a real fan), and at a WC training session in 2007 in France (photo with all the Glasgow guys) and he seems to be a great BLOKE.

  • Comment number 49.

    How two-faced can people be? Nice bloke or not, he was a rubbish international fly-half.

    Most of you were calling for his head and now that he's fallen on his sword you're eulogising him.


  • Comment number 50.

    Good Luck to "Dan the Man" you always played 100% for the Warriors and Scotland. Thank you for your service and you will always be a wee legend to me! Gutted we won't be seeing you with a "touch of the Firhills" for us anymore. Take care!

  • Comment number 51.

    Along with Wagga - there will be a corner of Scotland that is forever Australia. You did both nations proud mate; and you'll always be one of us (hard luck!) :)

  • Comment number 52.

    I feel a bit uneasy about his departure too and I think "tarnished" is a good description for it. I can't help thinking that the stick he has been getting is probably a result of the sheer frustration that had been building in Scotland fans for so many years. The stand off jersey can't be an easy one to wear and the position demands so many crucial plays, not least kicking for territory. Many times he got it right but when he got it wrong, the full weight of the fans frustration went with it. Had he been a prop I can't help thinking he wouldn't have had such a hard time - Australian or not.

    When I heard the news today, the first thought through my mind was the touchline penalty in Dublin. Like many players he had good games and bad games but on the off chance he reads your blog I'd like to say thank you.

  • Comment number 53.

    Dan, thank you for the memories, you have been a great servant to Scotland (and Glasgow) and have been at the heart of our best victories over the past few years, all the best in the future!

  • Comment number 54.

    i always though Parks to be a very solid player dispite his limitations ( and all fly halfs have limitations of some description, look at all those who played this week, none perfect), he helped scotland through some tough times and secured them some memorable wins (Australia and SA spring to mind)

    He does not deserve the stupid level of abuse he's got from Scotland and more recently his club. In face as a cardiff Blues fan i hope he sticks around with us for a while, a very useful experianced operator to have around

  • Comment number 55.

    For a great deal of the time he played for Scotland, Dan was definitely the best option open to us and he came with a particular game plan & style. He kicked so many goals & drops that dragged us through games when we were on the brink of defeat, and his tactical kicking got us out of so many holes when our pack wasn't as good as it is today.

    John, I don't think being Australian left him as an easier target; Nathan Hines was a great Scottish player & his commitment to the cause equally appreciated (though if I recall correctly, he wasn't too keen to play for Williams)

    I do think Dan should have retired after the RWC. The fact that he was persuaded by management & coaches to come back does not reflect well on them on 2 counts:
    1. It highlights a VERY conservative approach when we clearly needed a new approach after the RWC failure. We should be building with Laidlaw & Weir (& Jackson when he's back) for the 6N campaign, although that would have cost us a great A team win on Friday :-)
    2. To get the guy back then drop him in this manner is very poor man management & will undoubtedly undermine trust within the squad (I doubt confidence could be much lower).

    Dan certainly wasn't the only one who didn't perform to his best on Saturday, but I don't think he will have been dropped just because of the charge-down. We didn't lose just because of that (though I'd like to know who called the play)! I'm afraid his kicking from hand on Saturday was probably the poorest I've seen from him & that was clearly a key part of our game plan, particularly in the first half.

    You obviously have an inside track on Dan the person; his teammates' comments (Scottish & Welsh) on Twitter etc speak volumes to that as well - I hope he's proud of that.

    As a Scotland fan first & foremost, I'd like to say a HUGE thanks to Dan for his commitment to our cause which I don't think should ever have been in doubt & for all the points. Slainte, Dan.

  • Comment number 56.

    Respect to dan parks for manning up and stepping down. A dignified decision amid all the abuse.
    Sounds like all his teammates think he is a good guy too.
    But to be honest, he was not good enough to merit a place in the team. Robinson was totally clueless in selecting parks v England. Total lack of balls and tactical vision not to pick form player laidlaw, with weir or Goldman as back up.
    Was always going to backfire, just like it did for Hadden, Williams and all the others who insisted on sticking with a 10 who blatantly didn't have a sufficient package of skills.
    I played 10 and know what is required. Parks didn't have it.
    I have also spent 1000s following Scotland at matches home and away, and lost count of times parks ruined a game.
    World cup quarters in France spring to mind.. Spent a fortune on that and main memory is Parks kicking a ball in the dying seconds when could have passed along the line. Total waste such a moronic decision.

    Sorry dan, sure you are great guy and you deserve respect for commitment and enthusiasm, but never quite cut the mustard at top level.

  • Comment number 57.

    Lots of interesting and ( rightly ) supportive comments. Isn't it just the way that we concentrate on the negatives and forget about the many positives of Dan Park's long and productive career ? . The snide comments in the past regarding his antipodean background throws up an unpleasant side of the Scottish psyche in that we're all Jock Tamsons' bairns -just so long as your face fits. -and you're Scottish!
    Good luck Dan -you can hold your head high and people need to remember there is no "I" in team.Everyone needs to give 100% all of the time. A bit like Dan did really.

  • Comment number 58.

    Not on to Slag, Dan you got a chance to do what for most of us was just a dream, pull on the blue shirt, you wore it with pride,and distinction you only have to see the compliments from your fellow pros,to realise how highly they rate you!. Thats whos views count! i hope the stick you have taken has not soured you memories of playing, thank you for yor service to Scotland,and Scottish rugby,and wishing you success in what ever you now do

  • Comment number 59.

    As always, glad to have your even-handed commentary on the matter John. I was never Parks' biggest fan by any stretch of the imagination, but what he lacked in creativity he made up with consistency. The role he had in making Glasgow a competitive side-especially in his final three seasons with the Warriors-cannot be overlooked.

    While I was gnashing my teeth to see his name beside 10 last week, I understand it was really the only move Robinson had. With Paterson hanging up his boots and not entirely sure what to expect from Laidlaw, selecting Parks was a move for consistent goal-kicking (i.e., points).

    Absence makes the heart grow fonder and they say, and hopefully with time Dan will be remembered for his shining moments: Scoring a chip-and-chase try against Argentina in 2005 (one of the memorable moments in a match I more often than not try to forget), kicking Scotland to victory in the summer tour of Argentina, and his 2010 performance against Ireland in Croke Park. Here's to hoping Laidlaw and Weir take note of his creativity, add it to their creative flair, and give us a fair share of Lions-worthy performances over their careers.

  • Comment number 60.

    There's no doubting the guy had some good solid games in the blue shirt but too place Parks in the greats category is a bridge too far just like his career path should have retired post world cup and let the young guns take over the reins of being the Scotland 10. The international game finds the flaws of players more so than any other and ultimately Park's defence came up short of the required. End of an era for definite but onwards and upwards as they say. Here's to a few tries on sunday to say a fond farewell to Dan Parks.

  • Comment number 61.

    Bang on the money Jock ! I am left with an overwhelming feeling that in the modern sporting environment we feel we have to find a 'lightning rod" to blame for every defeat . Scotland's loss on Saturday was not the fault of Dan Parks but just a mistake with a kick . The game was lost by missing a couple of pop passes and not losing the ball going forward after the tackle . Truthfully , Dan Parks was the best player in that position that we have had to choose for some time , decent at all aspects of the Stand Off position . Step up time for the boys coming through the ranks and good luck and thank you Dan for wearing Dark Blue .

  • Comment number 62.

    Good luck Dan and thank you. Would be great to see you back in Glasgow helping our two young guns in years to come.

  • Comment number 63.

    Parks is under rated as a player, as an Irishman, I can easily say he is at least as good as Ronan O'Gara who everyone acknowledges is a great controller of games. Good kicking out halves are worth their weight in gold, give me solid percentage play over flaky enigmas any day.

  • Comment number 64.

    Jings - if a week is a long time in politics?

    Wonder how the comments would have looked had he been picked to start on Sunday. The future looked so bright this time last week - it still does.

    Looking forward to Laidlaw/Blair getting the start he/they deserve.

  • Comment number 65.

    Bertram - that was funny.

  • Comment number 66.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 67.

    As with many other supporters, my heart sank on Saturday as England scored that ill-fated try, not because we were now losing to the auld enemy but because of the inevitable diatribe that would be directed towards our national 'scapegoat'. No person is without their flaws and so for one man alone to be subjected to such hatefulness from his own 'support' is disgusting.

    So rugby aside, I would simply like to say a very big THANK YOU to a humble, gracious and genuine man. It's been a pleasure and you will be missed. Good luck and don't be a stranger...Dan Parks you will forever be Scottish, but better than that, a Glaswegian! #WarriorNation :)

  • Comment number 68.

    Dan Parks was one of the best out halves of the modern game. Of the 7 or so attributes a no 10 needs he was top class at about 5 of them and better than more vaunted players at the other two. Not only was he an excellent place kicker and finder of touch, he was one of the few Union players who could consistently execute cross-kicks.

    He won more games than I dare remember for Glasgow, and saved the bacon of many mediocre Scotland teams.

    I remember being at the SA game at Murrayfield a few years ago when he was booed by the (home) crowd before he had even taken off his tracksuit. When I told people outside Scotland what had happened, everyone was appalled. I've never really felt comfortable at Murrayfield since - half the crowd at internationals don't seem to know what shape the ball is.

    But he was and still is a legend in Glasgow, amazing player, very friendly to the fans and right at the heart of the action all the time.

    I hear he may be moving to a player-coach role next year. He'll be good at that, I hope it works out well for him.

  • Comment number 69.

    The problem simply lies with the fact that Dan Parks has one of the worst win records of any Scottish number 10 to ever put on the jerzy. I believe it is infact the worst 6/5 nations record of any Scottish number 10. He appears to be a great guy but thats not really the question. No-one can possibly say that Scottish results have been satisfactory over the last few years and sadly he has been a key player throughout that period. All the best to Dan but the key to this whole thing is, no-one wants to celebrate failure!

  • Comment number 70.

    @ 56 Riggydiggybadboy:

    So what level did you play 10 at? International at the lowest I expect!

    Have all the people in charge of Scotland during Parks' 60 + caps, plus the guys in charge of Glasgow and Cardiff BLues really got it that wrong by selecting him at 10 for all these years? I think not.
    He is not the complete package at 10, but then who is?

    Strange choice to step down now, can't say I agree, I think Scotland will miss him!

  • Comment number 71.

    Excellent blog John and thanks to Dan for all his efforts for Glasgow and Scotland over the years. In my humble view Dan improved enormously over the years we have seen him play. I suspect that he worked extremely hard to improve his skills to the point where his all round kicking game was as good as any in the world. I also think his passing ability in the face of heavy traffic has been greatly underestimated.
    We as supporters should take a look at ourselves and remember (if we played) how many mistakes we made in a training session never mind a match. Dan more often than not executed his skills on the pitch well but when he didn't 't it would be highlighted.
    I hope that he will be given the oppurtunity to help lend his experience and skill set to our young players.
    All the best for your future Dan.

  • Comment number 72. least as good as ROG

    117 caps against 66

    3 lions tours against none

    4 championships against none

    1 Grand Slam against none

    2 Heiniken Cup wins against none

    3 Celtic Leagues against none

    International points average per match over 9 against 3.3

    Club average points over 11 against 10.5

    most ever 5/6 nations appearances against not as many

    ROG along with Williams , Shane and Martin O'Driscoll Wilkinson and Tait were the greatest players in that generation

    Dan was a good player but never as good as ROG

  • Comment number 73.

    Great player on his day. Will be missed.

  • Comment number 74.

    Dan Parks was the best in the world at what he did, precision field kicking.

    Like many others I detested Hadden putting him in the team and the style of rugby Scotland were made to play for a long time, kicking everything away, but he converted me when he fought his way back in under Robinson and had Scotland winning games single handedly. 2010 had to have been one of his best seasons, especially in the Six Nations with the 3 MOTM awards. That awful season that was derailed by the Welsh game, and finally he picked us up by the scruff and everything great about his effect on the game came together in Dublin.

    Scotland really do seem to be jinxed. We should have beaten England regardless of the charge down.

    I definitely feel for Parks, and I'm sorry for his retirement coming immediately after the Calcutta Cup ending in the way that it did. The game should have been a win and he had Scotland playing and moving very well before the one mistake.

    To be fair we should give the English their due, their rush was just incredibly fast, Parks had space to kick, it wasn't an awful pass and he didnt hang about, it was just rotten luck on his part and good timing and speed from the English. It happens.

    I'm more angry at all the dropped passes after, and like others have said it wasn't Parks who fluffed the numerous chances to score a try.

    I'll remember his wins over South Africa, Argentina, other wins over England, especially the Ireland game and him jumping around, praising and picking up every single player in his pack in the way that only an Aussie would.

    His character has been immense to have stuck with Scotland in the way that he did, despite everything.

    "If I am totally honest I suspect that even Dan Parks knew during his time in a blue jersey that he had limitations, but then so have we all and in all walks of life."

    So true. Definitely not feeling good about this and very sad to see him go in this way. Thank you Dan.

  • Comment number 75.

    As somone who has watched many games over the year and rarely missed a home 5 or 6 Nations match and was there on Saturday I have mixed feelings about Dan's retirement. While there is no doubt he has won many games for us over the years he has also lost some. I feel the international game has passed him by and his great year in 2010 would have been a good time to have retired.

    We will all have to remeber that it must be the hardest thing for any international sportsman to time correctly so we are not left with bad memories of them. I think he has made the correct decision and we can hopefully move forward with Greig Laidlaw and Duncan weir as well as Ruaridh Jackson - which of them will prove the best awaits the test of international rugbt.

    Perhaps too many of us are spoiled by remembering the likes of John Rutherford and Craig Chalmers to name but two. There have been other times too that we have not had a quality 10 but Parks did a job regulalry until recently. The 2007 world cup and 2010 Six Nations were his best.

  • Comment number 76.

    I feel really sorry for Dan Parks. He had a poor game on Saturday but he didn't mean to get charged down or play poorly. Everyone has made mistakes in a game and should know how much you beat yourself up afterward without the excessive vilification of the public or the media. He tried his best and as an Englishman, I have seen him play the hero role for Scotland in the past, against Ireland or South Africa in 2010 spring to mind. He wasn't in the best of form but he was evidently not going to play until Robinson convinced him to and he thought he had one last good game in him. To make him a scapegoat for Scotland's troubles is wrong, as one man doesn't lose a rugby game. He deserves more respect than many have been giving him and it took guts to see his own international future was finished and to bow out. Best of luck, Dan Parks, remember the good times with your country and I hope you are not hurting too much

  • Comment number 77.

    Spot on Mr.Beattie. I would like, first and foremost, to thank Dan Parks for his most valued contribution to Scottish Rugby and to Glasgow over the years, you will not be forgotten-dare I say, without fear of retribution from any victimized fans-FOR ALL THE RIGHT REASONS. Throughout your career, you've showed true grit, determination and resolve, in your own style.

    I would like to mention, for a clear reason, that I am an exiled Scot living in Montreal, Canada; Having been here for a number of years, one might think that I would follow the local hockey team, the infamous Montreal Canadiens. I don't, for one simple reason. Player/Manager bashing, and "know-it-alls" who spend their off time stating how they would have played or managed. That being said, I remain a true, devoted Scotland and Warriors fan.

    I've played as a utility back for a number of years before injury got the best of me, albeit at an amateur level; I can definitely attest that winning or losing is done as a team, and that no individual error or accomplishment is solely responsible for the aforementioned.

    I will be attending every international/Glasgow match when I come back to Scotland and I always try to find a way to do virtually do it in Canada; However, I will never assume to know what selections/plays should have been made, and will stand by them NO MATTER WHAT. That's what being a fan is.

    I would like to call upon all fans of Scottish Rugby to get behind all past/present/future players, especially after a loss. THAT'S when they need us the most!
    Great things have been happening in Scottish Rugby, and all it takes for what I hope is a minority of fans to get on the usual player bashing wagon is a negative amongst a sea of positives.

    Really? Booing players when they are on a down? I would like to see any of you get on that pitch and do even a tenth of what our lads did Saturday. Agreed, we are missing that final touch, but I am truly confident that it will come. Just listen to David Denton and look at the Scotland A lads.

    To summarize, let's get behind the team sporting the jersey we wear, let's build on the positives, and, of course, let's bring it to Wales on Sunday!!

    --- Here's to you Parksy.. Would love to see you coach . you DESERVE IT.

  • Comment number 78.

    I would like to thank Dan Parks for 8 years of dedicated service to Scotland, and wish him all the best in his international retirement.

    I'm embarrassed for Scottish rugby when I reflect on the torrents of abuse he has received from supporters, encouraged by certain sections of the Scottish rugby media.

    It would be hypocritical of me to say I agreed every time he was selected, but he had some great moments that brought joy to this supporters heart. That try in 2005 v Argentina, the 2010 season for both Glasgow and Scotland, and his performance against Ireland and South Africa in 2010 are just a few highlights that spring to mind for me.

    I think we often forget that rugby is just a game for us to watch, play and enjoy. That can be hard to remember, especially when it's our country we are watching. However, for the players, this is their life, and they invest huge amounts of emotion in it.

    Parks never seemed short of emotion and passion, and it is that for which I am most grateful.

  • Comment number 79.

    Sad day indeed and like you John, I feel unsettled at the way this has come about. Takes a brave man to stand up and be counted. Thank you Dan for all you have given Scotland, no-one can ever doubt or take away the passion and conviction with which you played for our country.

  • Comment number 80.

    I'm sorry but what is everyone on about? Just because he has retired from international rugby and some of you feel guilty you are pretending he is a great player all of a sudden.

    Personally I could count the number of good games on my ten fingers if I was being generous. His only real ability is kicking and that was usually dreadful in a Scotland shirt. True, on his day he could kick well and he had a useful knack of knocking over drop-goals but on the whole I'm glad he's retiring.

    The biggest problem, though obviously not his fault, is that coaches picking him led to totally insipid rugby with no attempt to play expansively and build phases. Obviously Scotland can't string three passes together without dropping the wall but we could at least try.

    Our problem though is accepting poor performance. Trying hard but being talentless isn't accepted by other nations so why is it enough for us? Losing bravely is known to everyone else as losing.

  • Comment number 81.

    @80: bestlittlespainardweknow - Parks wasn't the only one to blame for Scotlands poor performances. Scotland are well below par all acorss the feild (as their current world rankings shows).
    It is all too easy to point the finger at the no 10 just because they are the "play maker".

  • Comment number 82.

    #78 Numberto ... Well said

  • Comment number 83.

    I have always been a great fan of Dan Parks - he has made mistakes but there are very few Scots players who have not - and the positives far outweigh the negatives.
    Go with your head held high, Dan - I for one will miss watching you play

  • Comment number 84.

    I'm glad O'Gara has been mentioned above (Bertram/Parlane) as I also see similarities between the two. Both great kickers from hand/for points (ROG with more consistency), both as likely to miss a tackle as the other also.

    I feel also that Parks takes the blame for a Scotland team that hasn't produced a world class centre in ten years. It would be interesting to see how ROG would have done without O'Driscoll as a constant outlet able to put him on the front foot or conjure magic from nowhere.

    The centres Scotland have produced have not been able to perform on the international stage. Good players all of them, but exposed at international level. I'm hoping Mark Bennett will be making waves this time next year.

    Good luck Dan

  • Comment number 85.

    i too feel somewhat ashamed for the treatment dan parks has undergone at the hands of the scottish public. for me, he was of course a world class kicker - both from hand and at goal - and he had to work for most of his international career with a very limited set of centres and outside backs. dan carter would struggle to get a team scoring tries behind a misfiring pack and with a centre pairing of henderson and di rollo outside him. had parks had a flatter, more aggressive and more intuitive running game, i believe he would truly have been a world class 10.

    the way he came back from international oblivion in 2010 to become the stand-out performer in a rejuvinated scotland side, and arguably one of the players of the 6 nations is a measure of his character. he gave us all some amazing moments to cheer - one of the best kicks i have ever seen to beat ireland at croke park, crucial drop goals in wins over england and south africa, and of course winning something like 5 MOTM awards in 2010. for me, these moments far outweigh whatever mistakes he made, including those wrongly attributed to him. after all, barring perhaps chris paterson, what scottish international in the last 10 years can honestly claim to have been relatively error-free?

    i would like to thank Dan Parks for his fantastic commitment and passion for Scottish rugby in the face of some pretty nasty and ill-informed abuse; and indeed wish him all the best in his future endeavours on and off the pitch. A brilliant servant to the team we love.

    I, at least, will miss watching him play in the dark blue.

    Thankyou Dan.

  • Comment number 86.

    Daverichallen... totally agree with you. Scotland have time and again butchered opportunity after opportunity. England were very ordinary and Scotland failed to take advantage. Wales or Ireland would have put at least 3/4 tries on England. France also would have lumped a big score on England, even the ever improving Italy would have crossed the chalk against this mediocre English team.
    Parks I have a certain amount of sypmathy, because I do not believe for one moment he deliberately lets his team down, but his limitations - and those around him - are where Scotland struggle.
    On a personaly level I would like to thank Dan Parks for his contribution to Scotland, because at times he has brought us victory with his boot.

  • Comment number 87.

    i think Andy Robinson should walk aswell. why on earth would he say it is the 'right time' for Parks to retire only a couple of days after he starts him in our best chance to get off to a winning start in the 6 Nations in years? he has dropped us to 11th, and whilest i agree we are slightly better, we have not really improved in terms of winning games, and cannot score tries. Michael Bradley has got Edinburgh scoring tries by the barrel load for Edinburgh on the same pitch, and with Visser coming in to the international reckoning in the Summer, we should bring him in so that Robinson does not coach the life out of him. also he led Scotland a to a impressive 35-0 win against a strong England Saxons side.

    also- thank you Dan Parks for some great performances over the years. you have been made scape goat on so many occasions and you deserve better so i cannot blame you for quitting. we will soon discover that we will not score/ win tries without him either, and that on his day ( as was as rare as a Scotland win anyway ) he could be exceptional and win us a game. clear out the coaching team after this 6N unless we get 2 wins ATLEAST. very poor ranking and not winning games/ scoring tries.

  • Comment number 88.

    I'm gutted that Dan Parks has left under a dark cloud. Throughout the years I have personally witnessed the verbal abuse at Edinburghfield. Disgraceful!
    I'm now reading the tributes & I'm feeling even more sick as I know there are a majority that are two faced.
    For those who blame him for the loss to an untested England, go away & learn about the words team & support ... Did Dan drop the ball in attack for the try line? No! Who gave him the ball in such a bad place instead of taking responsibility?

    All I can say is thanks Dan, your success far outweighs any failures. You took it all on your shoulders when others couldn't or wouldn't. You'll be missed but I wish you all the very best in the future. Take care.

    Gregor Townsend should also walk, he's had many chances & has failed.

  • Comment number 89.

    All the above just proves what an enigma Dan Parks is/was.

    No doubting his talent and ability, I would simply table his motivation for discussion.

    To me, he always played at his own superb level for Scotland when he came off the bench as though he had something to prove. Then he was a complete shoe in for the following 2 tests before going slightly off the boil and being replaced.

    He plays a position which will always fall under the spotlight, there is no where to hide, and all great players are criticised at one time or another.

    Thanks Dan and all the best

  • Comment number 90.

    JB - I have made a number of contributions about Dan in various previous Blogs of yours, and have always been nothing short of extremely positive about the man. I too clearly recall the Ireland match in Dublin when Dan sealed the game for us in the final play of the game! What an outcome, and how good would it have been to be a Scot in Dublin that night!!!

    I would particularly like to draw everyone's attention to one Saturday morning (several years ago) when Dan appeared on your old BBC Radio Scotland "Sports Weekly" show one Saturday morning. At the time, DP was not the 1st choice selection for Scotland at Number 10:- Phil Godman had his name on that Halfback position at the time. However I was so impressed with Dan's professionalism & team spirit on your show;- he was full of praise for Phil Godman, and the undertones were all about the team, & very little about Dan Parks. Polite, well spoken, and completely unassuming was the manner in which he came across.

    Dan - thank you for all your positive contributions to Glasgow & Scotland over the years. Very best wishes to you & Cardiff for the rest of the season ( I do hope you can wrestle some of the kicking duties away from Leigh Halfpenney... should be you taking the kicks, not the No 15). And if you end up having the chance to see your playing days out in the Super XV, I dearly hope it will be in your hometown with my favourite Super XV 15 team- The Tahs!! All the very best mate - you're a top man.

  • Comment number 91.

    Dan Parks broke my heart a wee bit yesterday. I loved when he played for Scotland and don't really understand why he was on the receiving end of people's frustrations all too often.
    He will always be a favourite of mine.

  • Comment number 92.

    I was also in the deractor camp most of the time but really the team lost the game at the weekend - it was just that Parks' kick was the most obvious problem and gave 7 points away...and as JB pointed out the reasoning for him ending up 10m deeper than he needed to be defies belief.
    I hope we will see a diffferent style of Rugby in Cardiff...but unless everyone ups their games and demonstrates basic ball handling skills we'll lose and DP wont be there to be scapegoat this time. Good luck to DP.

  • Comment number 93.

    I took my daughter to her first ever International game against South Africa at Murrayfield in 2010. The conditions were awful, it was freezing cold and wet and Dan helped us to a memorable victory played out in front of a sadly half filled stadium. She was so thrilled that Scotland won she forgot about being cold and miserable and couldn't stop blowing her mini vuvuzela I'd brought her from South Africa. Thanks Dan for that memory, she will certainly never forget it.

  • Comment number 94.

    Agree with John. Not a proud day to be a sports fan.

    We've all criticised players after poor performances, but in some people's eyes Dan could do no right.

    Dan showed during his final season with Glasgow he was a world class player. He also led Scotland to some great results in that period. If there had been a Lions tour in 2010 I'm sure Dan would have been on it, and been in with a shout of playing.

    No doubt with a bit more support we would have seen a few more good performances from Dan.

    Also - if it is true that Andy Robinson put pressure on Parks not to retire, then dropped him after one game that really is a shoddy way to be treated.

    On the positive side we will now see some running Fly-Half's playing for Scotland. I guess only time will tell whether this will revolutionise our attacking play and if we will suddendly turn into a free scoring international team, as the Dan haters have been telling us for years.

    I have my doubts.

  • Comment number 95.

    So we have lost Wagga, Mossie and Dan the Man in a short space of we have to blood new players or we most definitely will start going backwards.

    These three guys had very similar outlooks I believe.....they wanted to play for the jersey; they took some hard knocks along the way but they were always there to be counted when the going got tough. Dan came back after some hard times and hard games but he never shirked his duties. OK he wasn't the best No 10 Scotland have had but he wasn't the worst either. Some of his games were mercurial; some were devastating but I don't think I ever saw him refusing a responsibility on the pitch. Can you ask for anymore than that?

    Thanks Dan and all the best in the future. Now you can sit in your armchair next Saturday, like the rest of us, shouting and screaming at the TV in the belief that we know better that the 15 guys on the pitch. Which in your case you probably will. Suggest you go and play a stormer at Cardiff for the rest of the season and just show how good a play you can actually be.

  • Comment number 96.

    I think there's a lot of rose tinted glasses being worn here. I agree that Dan Parks is a great guy, I've met him and have nothing but praise for him as a person. As a precision kicker when he is on his game he could can produce moments of genius. Many comments above have stated that it's a team game and no-one person should be to blame for any mistakes and then people go on to talk about how Dan single-handedly won games for us. Make up your minds. My take is that performing as a team is the only thing that mattters and herein lies my frustration with Dan Parks. To perform as a team every player has to do his job. The fly-half is arguably the most important man on the pitch and his job is to control the pace of the game, create space for the backs, get the ball out to them and most importantly make the right decisions under pressure...CONSISTENTLY. Unfortunately I never knew what Dan Parks I was going to get from one game to the next and when I saw his name in the squad list for the England game, I'm sorry to say this but my heart sank. I knew from watching him over the years that if his maverick moments paid off then we we were in for a treat, but if they didn't which was more likely to be the case then the results would be nothing short of catastrophic. Those of you who don't think that the charge down on Saturday had a monumental part to play in the way the game turned out should think again. To attempt to clear your lines without looking up to see who is in front of you, when you have the time to do it, is a schoolboy error. A schoolboy who does this is allowed to as he will learn from his mistake. But to make the same mistake twice is stupidity and from an international player of the highest level it should be viewed as a criminal act. Everyone deserves a second chance to learn from their mistakes but when they CONSISTENTLY make bad decisions under pressure then it's time for them to step down as Dan has quite rightly done.

  • Comment number 97.

    Let us perhaps not go overboard in the other direction shall we...and put things into perspective as far as his Scotland career is concerned.

    First and foremost, yes it is sad way to end things, we shall never know the whole story but it was always a probability that things would have ended that way following his non retirement after RWC, he was one of the oldest, if not the oldest guy in the squad this Saturday and he is a back, his form was not great either, I know he was not the only one but he was one of them.

    On motivation and giving 100%, I would disagree, he was not keen taking the ball into contact nor tackling, would he qualify as an honest player in Telfer's book? Most probably not, he was not putting his body on the line full stop.

    He has 67 caps, so yes he had some good performances, if you have 67 chances you are bound to have a few good ones, he was not consistant either. Funny someone mentioning how distraught he was after his charged down kick against Argentina at RWC 07...I shall say no more

    As JB said he was in high profile position were errors are in the spotlight, he was not help by the rest of the backline but he was their general.

    Last but not least, how he got there I hope will be a lesson learnt for the SRU, if what we suspect is true and he was brought on a guaranteed number of caps contract, this is clearly a mistake of devastating consequences that ought not to be repeated. There is no Dan Parks to hide behind anymore.

    So time to move on, he was badly handled, yes, but he was not a legend, I am glad that the A team won on Friday and that at last we are seeing some sense where sense should be.

  • Comment number 98.

    Dan - Thank you! All genius is flawed in some way, at some time but you've given us more good moments than bad. A true 'Scot' and a gem. You will be missed.
    It's got to be Laidlaw for me!

  • Comment number 99.

    Firstly can I wish Dan all the best for the future.

    I think that he has come for an unfair level of criticism, but has never once turned on anyone, which is of huge credit to the man.

    I also think that, while his game is limited, he never shirked his responsibilities, and always seemed to be giving of his best which, again, is of great credit to the man.

    Frequently we've had others playing badly but you would never know, as they would hide.

    I have, at times, been critical of his play but I think that during a spell from 2007 - 2010, albeit broken service, he was one of our best performers.

    He really should have called it a day at the end of the World Cup, but has been put in a position that he never should have been. After all, he didn't choose himself, and who among us would turn down the chance to play against England at Murrayfield.

  • Comment number 100.

    Everybody makes mistakes. Everbody does wonderful things. Dan Parks is no exception! He has been a wonderful servant to Scottish Rugby, and deserves our thanks. Wouldn't it be good if he was able to walk out onto the pitch vs France and deliver the match ball in the same way that Chris Paterson did? Would the "boo-boys" mind there Ps&Qs for 5 minutes? I would sincerely hope so...
    On the subject of mistakes and wonderful things, I recall another Scottish number 10 who could be just as exasperating at times perhaps even more so but who is, I think, remembered fondly as a player. Gregor Townsend...
    We can all only do our best; and no more. Mr Dan Parks. I salute you.


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