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Sonny Parker to return home to New Zealand

3 weeks ago By The Offical London Welsh

Eilte Sportman and Iconic London Welshman starts a new chapter

“Gwyn Wiliams Chairman London Welsh” In Cai Griffiths we have an outstanding head coach

After spending his first holiday in his native New Zealand for over 4 years, Sonny has confirmed his long stated wish to return to the southern hemisphere-after nearly 20 seasons as an elite sportsman in the UK and many years’ service to the London Welsh family.

Sonny joined the famous London Welsh for the 2012-13 season and played for both the Premiership and Championship sides before playing his last game in Herts Middlesex 1 last season. Sonny appeared 44 times in total for the club before taking on the role of 1st team manager for the 2014-15 season under Lyn Jones and continuing that role for Justin Burnell and Roland Phillips.

In the last 18 months Sonny’s love and passion for the club during a difficult time, saw him delaying his return to New Zealand and taking the role of Director of Rugby as London Welsh once again become a fully community based club at the launch of a new era and the London Welsh 5 year plan to return to the national leagues.

Sonny was instrumental in creating a more disciplined and professional structure for performance Rugby at the club, from juniors, to the U.23’s academy and right through the 1st XV. With fellow ex-Ospreys Cai Griffiths as Head Coach and Will Taylor leading our S&C, all Men’s teams quickly transformed into a determined, powerful and cutting edge London Welsh. It is testimony to Sonny that in the 17-18 season all three men’s teams gained promotion, the 1st XV losing only one game and recording over 100 points for the season.

The club would like to thank Sonny for delaying his long term plan to return to New Zealand in order to steer London Welsh during the first phase of a new and excited time for the club as we rebuild for a return to the national leagues. We wish Sonny all the very best for his return home and the next stage of his life, a true hero and stalwart of the club there will always be a home for Sonny at Old Deer Park with his London Welsh Family.

The club look forward to building on the success of last season under the continued guidance of Head Coach Cai Griffiths, Head of S&C Will Taylor and their coaching team. The squad returns for preseason beginning 3 July and pre-season fixtures starting on 18 August with a trip to South Wales and Caldicot RFC, before further fixtures at Staines RFC and Grasshoppers RFC.


Chairman Gwyn Williams : I feel very lucky to have got to know Sonny over the last few seasons. His presence off the field last year was instrumental in giving all of us confidence in developing and executing our 5 year plan. Rugby however is a game of adapting to change very quickly, you never know when injury might strike or as a community club when players circumstances change due to work or other matters. As one of the Worlds oldest and largest exiles clubs we are used to the constant rotation of faces as people move to London and after a while return home or move on. We are a much stronger club than we were 12 months ago thanks to Sonny but in Cai Griffiths we have an outstanding head coach, inspirational leader and an individual of such quality I am constantly amazed at his increasingly significant contribution to our club and his overwhelming enthusiasm for what we are doing. As preparation for season 2018-2019 commences we are all excited at the challenges and huge opportunity that is in front of us, we are sure that Sonny will be keeping a close eye from afar and will always be on the end of the phone.

Updated 14:26 - 25 Jun 2018 by The Offical London Welsh

Where next?

Voyagers AGM and BBQ Sat 14th July 16:00 (AGM), 17:00 (BBQ) @ Mid Surrey Bowl Club ODP

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Fixtures
Sat 18 Aug
a
1st XV Caldicot RFC
Friendly 13:00
Thu 23 Aug
a
1st XV Staines RFC
Friendly 20:00

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