Two-try Parkes makes his mark for Wales

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    03 Dec 2017     Getty Images

Having qualified to play for Wales on the day of the game, Parkes, via Manawatu, Auckland, the Blues and Hurricanes, scored two tries as Wales claimed a 24-22 win.

For a player who thought the Test bus had passed him by at the age of 30, it was a memorable day in his career.

"It's a dream come true," Parkes told media afterwards.

"It's a privilege to have played here in front of 65,000. To score two tries on my debut, well you dream of these things happening. It's an amazing feeling," he said.

"Three years ago, I would not have believed this would happen. You hear about the old Cardiff Arms Park and the singing. I made an effort with the anthem and I hope it went ok."

Coach Warren Gatland, who was relieved to have his side claim the win, the third over South Africa at home in consecutive Tests, said his advice to Parkes before the game had been to just make the most of it.

"He did that. He carried well, defended well.

"He's an experienced player and even though it was his first cap we told him he needed to show some leadership out there and take control.

"He's had a lot of rugby and is familiar with the [Llanelli] Scarlets players that were out there. He's done great. It was a fantastic pick-up for the first try. Some nice kick-throughs and stuff. He's saying in the changing room he has a 100 percent record, so he's pretty happy with himself," Gatland said.

Looking ahead to the Six Nations he said with the way most of the teams were playing it was shaping as one of the closest tournaments there had been for a long time.

"A lot of people are talking up other teams and long may that continue from our point of view.

"Given where we are in terms of the amount of injuries and the inexperience we put out, I think we are in a good place the moment. We have worked on the way we want to play and looked at some different combinations. So I am pleased where we are," he said.