Bill Lothian: Scotland in flux after Dan Parks’ departure

Dan Parks
Dan Parks
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Dan PARKS’ decision to quit Test rugby in circumstances where he found himself the subject of much ire following a Scotland defeat at home to England could well come back to haunt him.

At a stroke the stand off has given sustenance to critics. A moment of instant gratification, perhaps, then what...

More importantly for many will be the fact Dan, pictured, has left at a time where the international team he has represented 67 times are in a state of flux and who knows how the immediate future will play out for any much less experienced successor in the short term? Surely the country’s calling at any time means more than walking way mid-tournament?

Such actions are, of course, Parks’ prerogative but again the phrase ‘sticks and stones’ comes to mind and the player should remember the lifestyle he enjoys as a professional sportsman has come from those who fill the stands.

Whenever Dan Parks’ record 17 Scottish drop goals are recalled it is likely the manner of his leaving will not be far behind while one conundrum still to be reconciled is coach Andy Robinson’s view that Parks “has made the right decision”.

How can this be so when the player was integral to a massive Scotland game last time out ... and surplus to requirements now?

In an age where success is demanded yesterday and there are unprecedented means of getting their message across maybe Parks will actually be recalled as a pioneer in deciding “enough is enough” where flak is concerned?

Somehow, though, I doubt it and maybe it is just as well he wasn’t representing, say, Hawick in the 1970s when players were regularly stopped on journeys down the High Street on a Monday after defeat and told what was expected of them.

Mind you, at least the criticism in those days was expressed face-to-face!