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Sonny is latest to ignore WRU policy.

Byline: By SIMON ROBERTS

SONNY PARKER is the latest Welsh international poised to ignore Wales' 'home rule' policy and move to France or England.

The Wales centre, who is out of contract at the Ospreys this summer, is being linked to Brive in France and Harlequins in England.

The 31-year-old, who missed the autumn Test series due to a knee injury, returned to action for the Ospreys against Treviso yesterday.

The Kiwi-born ace last played for Wales in the first Test defeat to world champions South Africa on the summer tour.

But Wales on Sunday understands that Parker is considering following in the footsteps of Dwayne Peel, Alix Popham and Michael Owen by trying his luck outside Wales.

The 30-times capped centre has been at the Ospreys for nearly five years and has been a key player at the Liberty Stadium.

If Parker does decide to leave Wales, it will be another blow to the Welsh Rugby Union's policy to keep Welsh players here.

A batch of Welsh internationals have ignored the new policy, which was introduced last season, and have headed for pastures new in England and France.

Peel signed for Sale Sharks and Owen is plying his trade with Saracens in England. Popham headed to Brive. All three have lost their Wales places.

Parker could join a host of Welshmen at Brive, including the likes of Popham, Barry Davies and Liam Davies in France.

Warren Gat land, the Wales coach, has made no secret of his desire to see Welsh internationals playing for one of the four regions.

The WRU's 'home-rule' policy has warned Welsh players their international ambitions could be hindered by playing outside Wales.

The recent autumn Test series saw the likes of Peel, Eifion Lewis-Roberts, both at Sale, and Gareth Cooper at Gloucester embroiled in a club-versus-country row.

Scrum-half Peel and Lewis-Roberts were both unavailable for Wales' victory over Australia last weekend.

The pair were recalled by Sale due to Wales' clash with the Wallabies being outside the International Rugby Board's agreed 'window' for Test matches.

But the WRU struck a deal with Gloucester to allow Cooper to play against Australia after it reported the Guinness Premiership side to the IRB earlier in the month.

The scrum-half was recalled by his club and named on the bench for a Guinness Premiership fixture when he should have been with the Wales squad.

Cooper, who is out of contract in the summer at Kingsholm, is expected to return to Wales and join the Blues.

Meanwhile Nathan Brew, who left the Scarlets by mutual agreement this week, is expected to return to the Dragons.

The 26-year-old has had limited opportunities with the Scarlets and will rejoin the Men of Gwent after a year and a half down west.

Scarlets' chief executive Stuart Gallacher said: "We're grateful to Nathan for his contribution to the squad since he joined us nearly two years ago."

Brew is expected to be joined by his younger brother Aled at the Dragons in the summer.

Brew junior, who won three Wales caps in 2007, is set to leave the Blues at the end of the season.

He signed for the Arms Park outfit but has also had limited opportunities and will return to the Dragons.

The 22-year-old enjoyed his most successful season with the Dragons in 2007 during which time he joined them on a year-long loan.

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MOVING ON: Ospreys star Sonny Parker will risk the wrath of WRU polcy-makers by leaving Wales for a potentially lucractive contract elsewhere
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Wales On Sunday (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Dec 7, 2008
Words:587
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