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Page last updated at 14:22 GMT, Tuesday, 12 May 2009 15:22 UK

Injury forces Parks to quit rugby

Richard Parks
Parks' hopes of returning to the Wales team were hit by a series of injuries

Dragons and former Wales flanker Richard Parks has retired at the age of 31 because of a shoulder problem.

The ex-Newport, Pontypridd, Celtic Warriors and Leeds back-rower, who has been capped four times, moved to the Dragons from Perpignan two years ago.

"It's very frustrating as I returned home from Perpignan in order to add to my Welsh caps, an ambition I had never given up on," said Parks.

"I had almost agreed terms to see me stay in Wales at the Dragons as well."

Parks' return to Rodney Parade was hampered by a knee injury followed by the shoulder problem, but he still proved a key player, notching up 29 appearances in two seasons.

During his career Parks won the Principality Cup with Pontypridd and the Powergen Cup with Leeds.

My fondest memories will be of my time at Sardis Road with Pontypridd

Richard Parks

"Obviously I'm bitterly disappointed to finish my career in this way, but I am truly grateful for the career that I have had," he said.

"I've been privileged to play alongside and against some of the best players in the world and I have a lot of great memories and have made some great friends.

"I have been very fortunate to have been able to experience life in several different clubs and countries.

"I enjoyed a fantastic spell in Leeds - winning the Powergen Cup and got to experience life in the south of France with Perpignan.

"My fondest memories will be of my time at Sardis Road with Pontypridd with whom I won my Welsh caps and the Principality Cup.


"As I started my professional career with Newport, it seems ironic that things have come to an end back at Rodney Parade.

"I would like to thank the Dragons for all of their support over the last two years.

"Although the other regions might get more of the spotlight, there are many young players here who have big careers ahead of them.

"I believe that the region as a whole has a huge amount of potential."

Dragons chief executive Gethin Jenkins said: "Richard has had a great presence at the Dragons both on and off the field.

"He has been a valuable member of our side and we wish him all the best in the future."

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see also
Dragons tempt Parks from France
10 Jul 07 |  NG Dragons
Perpignan switch enlivens Parks
30 May 06 |  Welsh
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales
RaboDirect Pro12
11 Apr 07 |  Rugby Union
Heineken Cup
11 Apr 07 |  Rugby Union
Anglo-Welsh Cup
11 Apr 07 |  Rugby Union

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