Scotland stand-off Dan Parks retires from international rugby

Dan Parks has called time on his Scotland career

Scotland stand-off Dan Parks has announced his immediate retirement from international rugby.

Parks made 67 appearances for Scotland and scored 266 points, including 17 drop-goals, a Scottish record.

"I was thinking about it but the first game of the Six Nations was against England and being able to play was huge for me," said the 33-year-old.

"On reflection, after talking it over with family, I've come to the decision that now is the right time to retire."

His decision to step down comes three days after making the mistake that gave England a match-winning try at Murrayfield.

Early in the second half, a clearing kick on his own line was charged down by Charlie Hodgson for the only try in England's 13-6 victory.

"Jacko (Ruaridh Jackson) was injured and being able to play against England was huge for me as there was a sense of unfinished business," Parks added in a statement released by Scottish Rugby.

"There are some really talented guys coming through - Jacko, Greig (Laidlaw) and Duncan (Weir) - and although I'm sad to be finishing my international career I have some fantastic memories of playing for Scotland and what that has meant to me.

"I've no regrets at what has been an amazing career for me. I've got my favourite moments for Scotland - uppermost being the 2007 Rugby World Cup."

Australia-born Parks will continue his club career with Cardiff Blues.

And Scotland scrum-half Mike Blair reckons his presence will be missed at international level.

"The reaction of all the guys when Parksy announced his retirement said it all - stunned silence and emotion," said Blair.

"Dan is a hugely popular and respected member of the squad and his contribution to some of Scotland's most famous victories cannot be underestimated."

Head coach Andy Robinson did not select Parks in his first squad in 2009 but the former Glasgow Warriors playmaker fought his way back to play starring roles in wins against Argentina and South Africa.

He picked up three man-of-the-match awards during the 2010 Six Nations but went to last year's World Cup behind Jackson in the pecking order as Robinson tried to foster a more expansive game plan.

Robinson added: "I have really enjoyed working with Dan. He wasn't in my first Scotland squads, but through his own determination, hard work, skill and competitive spirit he forced his way back into selection.

"It's never an easy decision to make, but I feel Dan has made the right decision and thank him for his contribution over the years."

Parks is the third long-serving Scot to retire following a disappointing World Cup campaign, after Nathan Hines and Chris Paterson.

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