Corker gives Parker a Welsh seal of approval
SONNY Parker is the ideal man to spearhead London Welsh’s charge back to the National Leagues, according to former Exiles skipper Matt Corker.
Welsh went bust as a Championship outfit amid mounting debts in January, but the world famous name will continue in Herts & Middlesex One (Level 9) next season with ex-Wales centre Parker as rugby director alongside assistant Cai Griffiths.
Corker, below, who spent nine years at Welsh from 2007, captaining the side and twice winning promotion to the Premiership before joining Richmond last summer, told The
Rugby Paper: “They couldn’t have a better guy involved than Sonny Parker.
“London Welsh holds a special place and knowing a lot of the lads and what happened to them was heartbreaking, but Sonny understands where the previous club went wrong and he’ll know exactly what needs doing to begin the journey back. “London Scottish and Richmond have come back and Sonny (right) and Cai have London Welsh in their blood. Along with team manager Peter Lowe, they’re all good friends who’ll be happy to work together and get some team spirit going again.”
Corker was influential in a part-time Richmond side which confounded expectations last season and believes that is the template Welsh must follow.
He said: “People said the Richmond model couldn’t work but we beat established Championship sides like Cornish Pirates, Bedford, London Scottish and Nottingham and pushed Yorkshire Carnegie, Ealing and London Irish all the way as well.
“A lot of work has gone into getting Richmond back from the bottom and they’ve been making good decisions for a long time. Richmond are proud to be different and after what happened to Welsh, it’s a massive seal of approval for what they do.”
Meanwhile, Corker revealed he is heading for pastures new after accepting a player-coaching role at National Two side Canterbury. The 34-year-old added: “I’ll be involved in community coaching and they have a clear vision of how they want to develop the club. I’ll coach the Colts as well as continuing to play at a good level, so I’m really excited to be part of it.”