As the Scarlets prepare for the opening game against the Southern Kings of the new-look Guinness PRO14 campaign centre Hadleigh Prakes believes that the region must continue to try and improve to repeat the success of 2017-18.
Heading into a new campaign as champions puts added pressure on the team and the coaching staff with back-to-back titles rare commodities in the championship in recent times.
Kiwi born centre Parkes has made a return to Scarlets action in pre-season friendlies against Bristol and Gloucester after enjoying a summer of adventure following the final victory at Aviva Stadium back in May to lift the then Guinness PRO12 trophy.
Speaking ahead of the opening round of the season, against one of two new South African sides in the competition the Southern Kings, Parkes said; “It was a great end to last season and the boys were playing some really good footy.
“Now we’re looking to keep improving this year. It really started to click at the end of last season – we’d worked hard to get to that level – and we scored some really good tries. Hopefully we can keep building on that and rekindle the partnerships between the loose forwards and the backs.”
He went on to say; “We have to continue to try and improve. Only one team has done back-to-back titles, so we won’t rest on our laurels. There’s no guarantee we can repeat our success from last term, but if we improve each week then we’ll put our best foot forward to doing that.
“I’m really enjoying life with the Scarlets and I’ve re-signed for another couple of years. I’m staying here for a little while and my partner and I love it in Wales right now. Long may it continue!”
Scarlets v Southern Kings, Saturday 2nd September at Parc y Sarlets, kick-off 5.30pm.