Parks moved by Evans visit
Dan Parks admits he and his Scotland team-mates were touched by an emotional pre-match pep talk from Thom Evans.
By Rachel Griffiths
Last Updated: 14/03/10 2:17pm
Dan Parks admits he and his Scotland team-mates were touched by an emotional pre-match pep talk from Thom Evans ahead of their Calcutta Cup draw with England.
Evans, who is still in the early stages of his recovery from double spinal surgery, managed to visit the squad before the 15-15 deadlock at Murrayfield.
The Glasgow winger, who came close to paralysis or death in Scotland's RBS 6 Nations loss to Wales according to brother Max, is not certain to continue to his rugby career.
But the 24-year-old was not far from the action in Edinburgh on Saturday, and Park admits he was moved to tears when Evans presented him with the fly-half jersey as he prepared to earn his 50th cap.
"It was a great occasion, very emotional, and I don't think there was a dry eye in the house," said Parks.
"It was great to see him and great to see him up and about, walking around."
Max Evans believes Thom's visit lifted the squad, who went on to claim the first point of their Six Nations campaign.
"Once they got through the tears, I think it helped remembering it," he said.
"Because you realised the added thing you were playing for. It was easy for me but some of the other boys put their bodies on the line."
One player to do that was flanker Kelly Brown, stirring frightening memories of Thom Evans' injury when he and England wing Ugo Monye collided early in the second half.
Brown was able to clamber to his feet and was immediately substituted, with head coach Andy Robinson later playing down his injury as a "head knock", while Monye was taken to hospital and has since been cleared of any significant damage.
"That's rugby - it's a contact sport," added Parks. "I was obviously concerned at the time but Kelly got up and about."
Parks, who kicked all of Scotland's points on Saturday, was delighted with the individual displays from his side.
"There were a lot of good performances. Graeme Morrison was outstanding," he added.
"In the forwards, there were a lot of guys who stepped up as well. The back row were fantastic and the scrum - it was quite tough in there - but they did a good job in the end."