Hadleigh Parkes: Scarlets centre ready to 'get stuck in'

Hadleigh Parkes
Hadleigh Parkes has made 44 appearances for Scarlets since arriving in 2014

Scarlets centre Hadleigh Parkes says he is looking forward to fighting for his place in the Welsh region's backline in the new season.

New Zealander Parkes started every Pro 12 game in the 2015-16 season as Wales duties and injuries ruled out Scott Williams.

But the return of Jonathan Davies from France and Williams' improved fitness mean competition will be tough.

"You just get stuck in and if you get the nod, good," Parkes said.

"And if you don't you just go and support your team.

"I think it's good to have some healthy competition with players pushing against each other.

"Listen, Jon [Davies] - well all the midfielders - are good players and it's just very exciting."

Jonathan Davies and Scott William
Jonathan Davies (left) will be reunited with Scott Williams at Scarlets after rejoining from Clermont Auvergne

Parkes was voted player of the season after appearing in 26 League and Cup games for the west Wales region.

However, he might not make the starting XV if Williams and 2013 British and Irish Lion Davies - who has rejoined from Clermont Auvergne - are both fit.

And even though it may mean a lighter workload, the Kiwi who joined Scarlets in December 2014 is determined to make his mark.

"You want to be playing - even though it was getting a bit hectic towards the end of last season - but I guess that's what you're doing," he added.

"And you love doing it so you want to be out there running around and hopefully just performing as well as you can."

Draw exciting, not tough

Scarlets were Wales' top team in the Pro 12 and the only one to qualify for the European Champions Cup.

Their reward was to be drawn in the same qualifying pool as reigning champions Saracens, Toulon who won the tournament the previous three years, and Sale Sharks.

Despite the "pool of death" draw, Parkes is looking forward to the challenge.

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"I think it's more exciting than anything else," he said.

"They're the teams you want to be playing against and it's going to be a tough ask but it's exciting and hopefully we can go out there and out some good performances in and you never know what could happen."

Asked if Scarlets would improve on their disappointing campaign in 2015-16 when they lost all their pool games, Parkes replied: "I don't know. Only time will tell on that.

"Certainly we've got a good squad and we're building nicely and we'll just have to wait and see we'll be able to go quite well this next year."

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