The newest All Black is back in training with the Blues today, marking the end of an 8-week break after the Northern Tour.
James Parsons made his first start in the black jersey in the match againstScotland last November, an experience he describes as “a dream come true.”
The hooker was with the Barbarians in England when he received the call-up to replace Nathan Harris in Edinburgh. Harris had received an ankle ligament injury when playing the United States in Chicago.
“It was a pretty hectic week and a half,” said Parsons, thinking back to the momentous selection. “I felt like I did myself and my family proud and hopefully the Blues proud.”
The experience has given Parsons the opportunity to return to Blues training a few weeks later than the rest of the team.
“It makes you hungrier to perform for the Blues and to give yourself the best opportunity to get back into the All Blacks,” he said.
Although the time off has been “refreshing mentally” for Parsons, he has not neglected training. Jason Price, head strength and conditioning coach at the Blues worked with Nic Gill, Price’s All Blacks counterpart, worked together to formulate a programme for Parsons during the down time.
And for the Blues’ upcoming season? “I’m looking forward to being a little more physical,” he said.
This coming Wednesday, January 21, will see all of the team back in the Blues environment aside from Patrick Tuipulotu who is having an extended break due to extra media commitments after the Northern Tour and will return Monday, January 26.