(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."
Meet the members of the WRU's inaugural Youth Board - after an online selection process which saw a host of high calibre candidates submit video applications the WRU has made its first 15 appointments.The board is made up of individuals aged between 16 and 21, and will meet for the first time at Principality Stadium on Monday 15th February.
The Wales Women's team headed to Dare Valley Country Park on a team bonding exercise as the entire squad got together for the very first time in preparation for this season's Six Nations championship which kicks off on Saturday with a clash against defending champions Ireland, in Donnybrook.
Wales Head Coach Warren Gatland discusses his team selection for the opening round of the RBS 6 Nations where he leads his side against Ireland, on Sunday. As WRU TV's Luke Brodley discovers, Gatland is fully aware of the challenges the defending champions pose
WRUTV caught up with Wales Women captain Rachel Taylor at the RBS 6 Nations launch and how a good crowd really helps boost the girls performance. Tickets for all three Women's home games at The Gnoll, Neath are available from www.wru.wales/tickets