(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 Chief Executive Roger Lewis, Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism Ken Skates and WRU Chairman Gareth Davies earlier this week launched a new competition in conjunction with the WRU unveiling its archive room.
Welsh players and management joined Deputy Minister for Sport Ken Skates at the Pierhead Building, Cardiff Bay earlier this week to reveal the Union's pioneering school-club hub initiative has been so successful the project will now almost double the scale of the original project.
The Scarlets, Newport Gwent Dragons, Cardiff Blues and the Ospreys look ahead to Judgement Day III which sees the Blues take on the Ospreys (2.30) and the Dragons tackle the Scarlets (4.45pm) at the Millennium Stadium tomorrow afternoon.
Ystradgynlais and Ynysddu played out a titanic struggle at Taffs Well in the SSE SWALEC Bowl semi-final. At the end of the game neither team could be separated after a 15-15 stalemate but Ystradgynlais go through on try count.
Blues strike first in JD III battle - Newport Gwent Dragons lock Andrew Coombs, WRU referee Dylan Llyr Jones and Cardiff Blues hooker Matthew Rees decide dressing room allocations for Judgement Day III
Wales Under 18 captain Calum Haggett has received a conditional offer to read Biomedical Science at St Anne's College, Oxford. WRU chairman Gareth Davies went to meet Calum and Coleg y Cymoedd Principal Judith Evans to wish him luck in his exams and pass on some of his personal experience.
Dodgy tattoos, carthorses, Avatar and soft chins are revealed by Wales Sevens players Tom Williams and Sam Cross as they profile the Wales Sevens squad taking part in Hong Kong this weekend in the latest round of the HSBC Sevens World Series.