Parker Responds To Wales Call

Sonny Parker has responded to an urgent call-up to the Wales team departing for the summer tour to Canada and USA today (Saturday), after fellow Osprey James Hook was selected for Lions duty.

Parker won the last of his 31 caps almost a year ago during Wales' tour against the World champion South Africans, after picking up a Grand Slam winners medal during the 2008 season, and now he deputises for Hook providing experienced cover at centre whilst the utility back has the Springboks in his sights.

"Sonny is a seasoned professional, we know exactly what we are getting with him and we know he won't let us down at this level," said Wales coach Robin McBryde.

"He brings a pedigree and level of experience which is unquestioned and we are fortunate to be able to call on someone of his calibre at short notice.

"James goes to South Africa with whole of Wales behind him, the call-up will be a real dream come true for him and we also know he won't let the Lions down.

"He is a player of mercurial talents and the rugby world will be excited by the prospect of having James Hook on the Lions tour.

"We have obviously lost some of James' versatility in terms of the positions he could cover, but we had selected him primarily as a centre on this tour and we are confident Sonny will be a more than able replacement in that sense.

"Sonny now has a very real chance to re-establish himself on the international scene after an injury lay-off ruled him out for much of 2009."