Dan Parks tips bold performance from Scots

AUSTRALIAN-born five-eighth Dan Parks played 66 Tests for Scotland, the last of which was against England in February.

He was not a part of the Scottish team who trumped the Wallabies 9-8 at Murrayfield in 2009, ending 27 years of heartache.

But the 34-year-old is certain of one thing – the Scots regard the one-off Test against the Wallabies at Hunter Stadium on Tuesday night as a chance to take another major scalp.

‘‘The scheduling of the match doesn’t make a lot of sense to rugby people,’’ Parks said.

‘‘Some of the [Wallabies] players will be involved in Super Rugby this weekend. They play Scotland Tuesday and then a Test against Wales, who are the Grand Slam [Six Nations] champions.

‘‘It doesn’t matter who Australia put out they will be very, very strong.

‘‘But it will be interesting to see how [Wallabies coach] Robbie Deans and the staff manage their players.

‘‘The Scottish guys have had a good break. They have trained well at Manly and I’m sure they will be right up for it. They will see this as a big opportunity.

‘‘They have some younger players – Mike Blair and Greig Laidlaw, the Edinburgh halves. Edinburgh play a very open style game and there will be a strong influence from that club.’’

Parks, one of the premier goalkickers in world rugby, was in Newcastle yesterday as a guest of the Hawthorne Club. He conducted a masterclass kicking clinic in the morning and spoke at the Hawthorne Club’s Test luncheon.

It was his first trip to the Hunter since he played for West Harbour against the now-defunct Newcastle Wildfires in the late 1990s.

Yesterday he worked with Ben Harriss (Hamilton), Christian Punch (Maitland), Pratik Ahuja (Merewether) and Nick Andrews (Singleton) and the Newcastle representative coaches.

‘‘There was a lot of talent there,’’ Parks said. ‘‘All the basic things they know, it was just reinforcing them ... keeping your head down, keeping your foot in a good position and being smooth.’’

Born in Hornsby, Parks played for West Harbour, Southern Districts and Eastern Suburbs before signing with Glasgow and moving to Scotland in 2003.

He had seven years in Glasgow, scoring a record 1105 points, and was eligible to play for Scotland through his maternal grandfather.

‘‘I knew I had my Scottish heritage, but I never expected to go on and play for Scotland,’’ he said.

‘‘I got there in September and by middle of December I was in the training squad for Six Nations.’’

The Wallabies team will be named tomorrow. Tickets are available through Proticket.

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