(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."
WRU TV were on hand at the launch of a major new commercial deal with WRU and Mercedes-Benz South Wales (part of the Sinclair Group), which sees the family company become an official supplier to the Welsh Rugby Union
On the back of the recent Women's Rugby World Cup, the WRU has launched a revitalised Women's and Girls domestic seasonal structure, and the future is looking bright.
Go to www.wru.co.uk/tryourgame for more information
Roger Lewis talks to WRU TV at the announcement of a new £60 million Rugby Services Agreement (RSA) which provides a new and positive contractual relationship between the WRU and its four Regions for the next six years has been agreed.
The Welsh Rugby Union has announced a major new sponsorship deal with Gullivers Sports Travel which will make the UK's leading, and longest established, multi-sport tour operator, an Official Supplier for the rest of the decade.
Having taken part in seven World Cups as a player and coach, Liza Burgess hopes to go out in style this afternoon when Wales take on Australia in the Play-off for seventh and eighth place in the Women's Rugby World Cup in Paris.
WRU Head of Rugby Josh Lewsey met with volunteers across the game earlier this week, championing their role in the sport. He was joined by Wales captain Sam Warburton for part of the day as volunteers took part in a 'Try Out' event for the 2015 Rugby World Cup
Wales Women may not have got the results they wanted recently on the field, but off it they have made massive strides in strength and conditioning - and that is in no small part due to S&C coach Sam Dodge.