'I went for Westlife's If I Let You Go': How Sam Parry celebrated first Wales cap
Sam Parry readily admits he thought the prospect of playing for Wales had probably passed him by. But the 28-year-old Ospreys hooker could be closing in on a Test starting place after impressing as a second-half substitute when Wales lost to France behind closed doors in Paris last Saturday.
With Ken Owens a long-term injury absentee and World Cup squad member Elliot Dee having dropped down the pecking order, Saturday’s selection to face Guinness Six Nations opponents Scotland appears a straight fight between Parry and Ryan Elias.
Parry’s Test debut at Stade de France was among the brighter moments for Wales as they slipped to a 38-21 defeat, and he is determined to build on that experience. “It didn’t matter if there were 80,000 there or no one, it would still have been the same feeling. I’m really happy,” Parry said.
“To be fair, I probably let playing for Wales go and looked forward to playing for the Ospreys and putting everything into that. Luckily, I got my chance and hopefully I can build on that.
“It was about just enjoying the moment. I probably thought this had passed me by, but to get named in the squad was good. You do the training and you hope to get selected. Then I got named on the bench, so I was really excited about that.
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“Then it was just about enjoying the build-up during the week. After that, on game-day, it’s about being ready when you get the call to go on. When you get one cap and experience that feeling, you want as many as possible, to be honest.”
Although there was no crowd due to restrictions because of the coronavirus pandemic – including no travelling family members – Parry and fellow Wales debutant Louis Rees-Zammit still enjoyed a cap presentation to remember, including singing a song in front of the squad.
“Gethin (Jenkins, the ex-Wales prop and current national squad technical coach) presented my cap for me. It was a special moment,” Parry added. “He is obviously a Welsh legend – we all know how good a player he was – and it was special to receive it from him.
“Luckily, the (Wales) media team sorted a Zoom call with my family, and they were able to see into the changing rooms and watch the presentation and watch me sing my song. I went for Westlife’s ‘If I Let You Go’.
“It’s a hell of a stadium. I had never been there before, but I always wanted to go, and it was awesome to experience it. It would have been better with a full crowd, but it wasn’t really about that, it was more taking the field and finally getting to play for Wales.”
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