Hadleigh Parkes' parents fly 12,000 miles for Wales match

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Media caption"Thrill" for parents to watch Parkes make Six Nations debut

Wales rugby star Hadleigh Parkes has spoken of the "awesome" feeling of his parents travelling across the world to watch him make his Six Nations debut.

Bill and Janet Parkes visited the Principality Stadium to see the 30-year-old make his second Welsh cap in a 34-7 win over Scotland.

Speaking to Good Morning Wales, Mrs Parkes said the atmosphere in the stadium "sent shivers up the spine".

Mr and Mrs Parkes will watch their son again this Saturday at Twickenham.

Parkes was born in Hunterville, New Zealand, and qualified to play for Wales under world rugby's three-year residency rule, having joined the Scarlets region in late 2014.

Towards the end of the game, shortly after Parkes had released the final pass for Steff Evans' acrobatic try, his parents flashed up on the big screen inside the stadium.

"I must have caught it out of the corner of my eye," said Parkes. "It was just a good little laugh to see mum and dad enjoying themselves. It was good to see them enjoying it and good we were playing a good game of rugby as well.

"They've always been the number one supporters, so it was very cool to have them over."

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Image caption Hadleigh Parkes during the Wales v Scotland game

Parkes and family have come a long way from Hunterville, a town on the North Island more famous for its "Shepherds' Shemozzle" than producing international rugby players.

"The first time I ever saw Hadleigh play was Saturday morning midgets on a frosty morning in bare feet. The only ones there would be the parents," said Mrs Parkes.

"It's been a pleasure [watching Parkes]. He was always a talented boy," added Mr Parkes.

As for the next game, Mr and Mrs Parkes are staying in the UK and travelling to Twickenham to watch their son and Wales take on defending Six Nations champions England.

"Will you have another tear in your eye?" Mrs Parkes was asked.


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