(Main) Parker (centre left) is full of praise for Iestyn Harris (centre right), with whom he is developing a working partnership (Thumb) Sonny Parker celebrates a score against Scotland with Rhys Williams
Sonny Parker will be driven by fear against Ireland after getting the fright of his life last time out. The Wales centre admitted he feared the worst after being momentarily paralysed by a Jonny Wilkinson style 'stinger' injury to the nerve in his neck. Parker was laid flat out on his back during the win over Scotland without any feeling in his left arm. He is now even more fired up to make every chance count against Ireland this Sunday. "I was pretty freaked out at the time because I didn't know what I had done and I thought it could be really bad," admitted Parker. "When it happened all I could feel were pins and needles up and down my arm but I couldn't move it. "I knew it wasn't a break because I know what that feels like after doing it three times, it hurts a lot more. Gradually I could feel my fingers and I knew that was a good sign."
Scans revealed Parker had only stunned the nerve so has the all clear to win his tenth cap for Wales but only his third alongside converted centre Iestyn Harris. Yet he reckons they can form a deadly partnership in the Wales midfield.
"Iestyn is playing exceptionally well and I'm really enjoying playing outside him," said Parker. "He is just getting better and better but I also think the rest of the guys are getting used to him and understanding him more.
"He runs these strange unorthodox angles that I guess he gets from rugby league that the guys were perhaps struggling to predict before. He changes direction so many time as he spots mismatches very quickly, but now we're reading him much better and it's making the whole set of backs better."
Harris and Parker will have to be at their best if they are to conquer Lansdowne Road and end a four year losing streak against Ireland.
"Ireland will be a really good test for us because they've been one of the better sides over the past few years, especially from the Celtic nations," said Parker. "It's too early to say whether we can take over from them after just one game against Scotland but there's a lot of confidence in the camp.
"We are playing attractive rugby and the boys are showing their individuality. People know we have the skills and talent, it has just been about confidence but now that's coming."
Wales 7s captain Luke Treharne may have only played once on the World Series, but he has full confidence in his side as they prepare for the opening two rounds of this year's series in Dubai and South Africa, as WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie discovers.
Wales 7s Manager Steff Thomas believes Luke Treharne has all the attriubutes to be a top class captain. WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie hears his reasons why as the squad prepare for the opening two legs of the new World Series in Dubai and South Africa.
The British & Irish Cup kicks off this weekend with the four Regional Premiership Select XVs flying the flag for Wales. Welsh
Sat 14 Nov: Blues Premiership Select v Nottingham (2.30) & Connacht Eagles v Dragons (2.30)
Sun 15 Nov: Yorkshire Carnegie v Ospreys Premiership Select (1.30) & Scarlets v Bedford Blues (3.00)
The Welsh Rugby Union is forming a new Youth Board with a brief to help keep more young people involved in the game during their late teenage years and beyond. The first task of the fifteen strong Board will be to analyse and consider the issues which lead to a number of youngsters drifting away from the sport between the ages of 16 and 21. To apply visit www.wru.wales/youthboard
The Foster's Challenge Cup will involve the 12 Principality Premiership sides and will run during European and British & Irish Cup weeks, providing vital fixtures for the participating clubs and an opportunity for upcoming players to step up to semi-professional rugby and make a claim for starting places within the Premiership squads.
Eighty schools and colleges in Wales now have a full time rugby officer as part of the WRU's school club hub scheme. All of the school club hub officers recently gathered at the National Centre of Excellence for various workshops.
With Liam Williams forced out of the World Cup through injury, lock Luke Charteris and Skills Coach Neil Jenkins say they have to put yesterday's defeat behind them as Wales now look ahead to another physical encounter against South Africa in the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup.
WRU Consultant Head of Physical Performance Paul Stridgeon praises the Physical Performance department for their work and dedication as he addresses the media ahead of Wales' Pool A clash against Australia
Twelve young people have been selected to follow a one year WRU Coach Core apprenticeship programme. Coach Core was set up by the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry as part of the Olympics legacy in 2012 and the Duke of Cambridge was on hand to meet the apprentices on their first day in the job. The programme has been funded by the Hunter Foundation.