Welsh veteran Parker still prepared to learn

First published in Sport

After more than a decade playing his rugby in Wales Sonny Parker made a bold call moving to London Welsh this summer – four months into his first season he admits he couldn’t have asked for more, wwrites Paul Eddison.

The New Zealand-born Welsh international has already racked up six Aviva Premiership appearances, forming an impressive centre partnership with Tongan Hudson Tonga’uiha.
 

Parker is one of the experienced heads brought in by Lyn Jones, who also coached him at the Ospreys.
 

And while Parker revealed that the training methods have changed, he explained there are still a lot of similarities between his new club and his life in Wales.
 

He said: “I spent a long time in Wales and there you really had the community feel to rugby.
 

“But what’s great is here I live in Richmond and it’s a similar thing with a community and it reminds me a lot of Wales.
 

“I’ve come in over the summer and really enjoyed it, there is a really good spirit with the guys who were here last year and got the club promoted.
 

“It’s different from the Ospreys in terms of how we train. Lyn’s really keen on individual development and how you can improve yourself for the good of the team.
 

“There were different structures in place at the Ospreys, but the good thing is everyone is working towards the same goals.”
 

A Grand Slam winner in 2008, Parker won 31 caps for Wales during a six-year international career.
 

Now at the age of 35 it would be easy for him to take it easy but he insists the competitive fire still burns as bright as ever.
 

He added: “I’m really enjoying here and delighted with the way we have been going.
 

“The coaching staff have been really good getting the squad together at such short notice.
 

“We have a good mix of youth and experience. You look at people like Gordon Ross and Jonathan Mills our skipper, they have been great for the atmosphere and spirit at the club.
 

“That’s made it really easy to settle in and focus on helping us stay up.
 

“So far it’s gone pretty well, we’ve had some good wins and could have had a couple more with a little more luck.
 

“We will keep working hard, we’ve had two weeks of LV= Cup which was tough but now we are back to the league which is the most important thing for us.
 

“We haven’t picked up any injuries which is a real bonus so hopefully we can kick on from here.”
 

Aviva are proud to be title sponsor of Aviva Premiership Rugby - one of the world's leading rugby union competitions. Each season will feature 135 games, which will be watched by 1.7 million people live at the grounds and many more through our broadcast partners Sky, ITV and ESPN - visit premiershiprugby.com.
 

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