Parks, who joins Eric Elwood’s outfit from the Cardiff Blues at the end of this season on a two-year deal, is the RaboDirect’s all-time leading points scorer with 1,322 points — 473 ahead of Ronan O’Gara. Out-half Parks also amassed 67 caps for Scotland since his international debut in 2004 and also represented New South Wales at U21 level and played in the English Premiership with Leeds during the 2001 season.
Parks said: “It’s been a huge decision in my life to move away from Cardiff to Connacht but a move which I am thrilled about. There is a fantastic mix of youth and experience at the club and for me I am really excited about the future of Connacht rugby. I will be looking to bring that experience to Galway.”
Elwood said Parks’ signature was a huge boost for the province. “Having someone of his experience, both internationally with the number of caps he has and in the league as the highest points scorer of all time, is a massive bonus.”
Meanwhile, Ulster will have their fourth captain in as many weeks in the RaboDirect Pro12 League, with Ireland’s Paddy Wallace leading out the side for the visit of Edinburgh to Ravenhill on Friday.
With official skipper Johann Muller sidelined with a calf strain, All Black John Afoa preferring to concentrate on his playing, and last week’s captain Chris Henry training with Ireland, coach Brian McLaughlin has asked 32-times capped Wallace to step into the role.