Wednesday 24 January 2018

Confident Scotland can test Irish nerve – Parks

Declan Rooney

Former Scotland out-half Dan Parks has warned Ireland that their Six Nations campaign could go from bad to worse in Murrayfield on Sunday.

The Connacht No 10 – who has been in fine form – believes his former colleagues have every reason to be optimistic.

"The Scots have done very well so far. The England game seemed to get away from them a bit, but I was impressed with their play against Italy.

"You have to be full of optimism for their chances on Sunday," Parks said.

Parks picked up the last of his 67 caps against England in last year's Six Nations, a game that saw the finger of blame pointed at him.

After that loss, Parks decided to give youth its chance and called time on his Scotland career. And he sees the success of his replacement Greig Laidlaw as vital to any chance the Scots have this weekend.

"I played at the start of the Six Nations last year, so this is the first full season that I have not been part of it," Parks said.

"It's a bit different for me this time, I was able to enjoy the build-up, watch all of the early games, but play for my club as well.

"It was great to see Scotland get the win last week. The victory over Italy will give them real belief. The forwards really stepped it up against the Italian pack, who are always very physical and, from that, the backs were able to cut loose and take their chances.

"But it also makes a big difference when your kicker is in form. "Greig Laidlaw kicked all of his goals and that 14 or 15 points on the scoreboard makes a massive difference.

"There is a lot of optimism about this team and Sunday."

Irish Independent

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