Walsh snap up Parker

First published in London Welsh by

London Welsh are delighted to announce the signing of former Wales centre Sonny Parker for next season.

The 34-year-old made 31 appearances for Wales, scoring six tries, and was part of the side which won the Grand Slam in 2008.

He was also selected for Wales’ Rugby World Cup squads in 2003 and 2007.

Parker made his international debut at Wrexham against Romania in November 2002 and a year later was running out at the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

He was a try scorer in Wales’ heroic pool stage defeat to New Zealand, but picked up an injury in the act of scoring which ruled him out of the World Cup quarter-final with England.

The following year he was in the side which lost 26-25 to the All Blacks at the Millennium Stadium, but did help Wales to a thrilling two-point win over Australia in Cardiff in 2005.

In 2008 he started in Wales’ 26-19 victory over England at Twickenham on their way to a second Grand Slam in three years.

Parker joins the Exiles from the Ospreys where he’s made 157 appearances, including 29 tries, since joining them in 2004.

He has since helped the Ospreys to three Celtic/Magners League titles and to victory over Leicester Tigers in the 2008 EDF Energy Cup final at Twickenham.

Parker also brings a wealth of Heineken Cup experience with him to Old Deer Park. He scored 16 tries in 61 European Cup appearances and helped the Ospreys reach three consecutive quarter-finals between 2008-10.

Joining London Welsh will see Parker once again team up with his former coach at the Ospreys, Lyn Jones.

Parker said: “I know how good a coach Lyn is and what style of rugby he wants to play, and that was one of the major factors behind my decision to join the club. I also get on very well with him.

“I don’t commit myself to anything unless I can do it 100 per cent. I want to play games and I want to win games for London Welsh.

“It’s also fresh start for me in London. I want to play some good rugby and hopefully I’ll enjoy my time at the club.”

London Welsh head coach Jones added: “Sonny was a very good international player and is still an excellent rugby player.

"We’re delighted to have him on board for next season – he’ll give us an attacking edge whether that’s in the Championship or the Premiership.

“It’s a signing that illustrates the ambition of the club and we look forward to strengthening our ties with Wales and the WRU in the future.”

Born in Thames, New Zealand, Parker played for the Auckland Marist club and gained international recognition with the New Zealand Maori Colts.

He joined Pontypridd in 1999 before moving on to the Celtic Warriors.

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