The Ponty Carpenter Who’s Off To Tour With Canada

Pontypridd back row forward Sion Parry. Pic: Pontypridd RFC

The Ponty Carpenter Who’s Off To Tour With Canada

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By David Parsons

Sion Parry is hoping to make the leap from carpenter and semi-pro rugby player to become an international this summer after being called up into the Canadian national squad.

The tough as teak Pontypridd openside enjoyed a stellar season in the Indigo Premiership at Sardis Road last winter and his reward has been a surprise offer from Canadian head coach Kingsley Jones to join the two Test tour to Tonga.

He is one of five uncapped players drafted into the 32-strong tour party that will meet the World Cup bound Tongans at Teufaiva Stadium in Nukuʻalofa on 10 and 15 August.

These games will follow a training camp in Fiji, for the Canadians who failed to qualify for the World Cup.

“The Tonga tour is an opportunity for us to play two tough test matches and get a look at some new faces with a group of players who are very committed to the sport and to furthering their rugby careers,” said Jones, himself a former Pontypridd openside.

Parry learned his rugby at Whitchurch High School and Rhiwbina RFC before heading into the Premiership with Bedwas. He then switched to Pontypridd.

Captain of his school side in the 2016-17 season, he now hopes to follow in the footsteps of another great No 7 from his old alma mater, Sam Warburton, in making the grade in the international arena.

“It’s a huge honour to be called up for international selection, a proud moment for me and my family.

“I’d like to thank Ponty for supporting me in this adventure and I can’t wait to get started,” said Parry, who qualifies for the Cannucks via his Ontario-born mother.

The Tongans are due to play Fiji, Japan and Samoa in the build-up the World Cup, as well as their double-header against Canada.

Their 35-man squad for these games includes ex-New Zealand internationals Malakai Fekitoa and Charles Piutau, former All Blacks sevens star Pita Ahki and ex-Wallabies Israel Folau and Adam Coleman.

Also included are two Welsh regional players in the Scarlets former All Blacks lock Vaea Fifita and Cardiff Rugby’s Lopeti Timani.

“The club are over the moon for Sion. It’s a fantastic achievement to be called up to any national squad,” said Pontypridd team manager, Dan Godfrey.

“His strong performances have stood out in the Premiership and the two Welsh Canadian coaches Kingsley Jones and Rob Howley have recognised this.”

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