RUGBY UNION: Parker appointed team manager at London Welsh

Sonny Parker in action for Exiles

Sonny Parker in action for Exiles

First published in Sport

London Welsh have confirmed the appointment of Sonny Parker as new team manager.

A Grand Slam winner with Wales in 2008, the 36-year-old was capped 31 times during an international career and played in two World Cups, in 2003 and 2007.

After eight seasons at the Ospreys, he joined London Welsh in 2012 and last season helped the club to the IPA Championship title and promotion to the top flight.

In total, he made 42 appearances for the Exiles during his two seasons at the Kassam Stadium and had been helping out on the management side since the end of last term.

Parker said: “I don’t really think of it as hanging up my boots, it’s just another adventure within rugby.

“For me, retirement from rugby would mean leaving the game completely and that’s not the case.

“Rugby has been an amazing part of my life, and I’m not leaving it.

“I definitely wanted to stay in rugby and the team manager’s role was one I began thinking about during last season.

“ I felt it was a job I could do well and I wanted to make a contribution to the club.

“I’d like to thank Justin Burnell, David Jenkins, Steve Lewis and Mike Stevens for this opportunity.

Welsh head coach Burnell said: “The team manager’s role is a very important one and Sonny is an extremely organised and articulate individual.

“He’s a real people person, he’s got the respect of the players and coaching staff and even in the short span of time that he’s had in the role he’s oozed confidence.

“He also has the advantage of knowing what the environment is about at London Welsh, as he played a massive part in setting up that environment last year.”

Meanwhile, Welsh have continued their rebuilding for life in the Aviva Premiership by signing Argentina loosehead prop Pablo Henn.

The 31-year-old won the most recent of his nine caps for his country against England in June 2013 and joins from French side Limoges.

Henn made his international debut against Chile in 2004 and in 2012 helped the Pumas to a 23-20 victory over France in Cordoba.

Coach Burnell said: “Pablo really impressed against England last summer. He’s made more than 100 appearances in the Top 14 in France and he’s just an out-an-out natural scrummager.”

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