Hadleigh Parkes is an unlikely rugby hero. A hero he is, though, through Welsh eyes.

These days Parkes is a Six Nations grand slam champion; a rock in Warren Gatland's midfield.

In recent weeks he has been welcomed to the National Assembly, and toasted beers with Prince William in the Principality Stadium changing rooms.

At supermarkets and on streets, Parkes is a local celebrity.


It wasn't always this way, though. Far from it.

In New Zealand rugby circles Parkes was often deemed surplus.

Maybe this is a case of Parkes suiting northern hemisphere rugby more. Whatever the explanation, he has