- Number: 196
- Position: Hooker
- Born: 27 November 1986
- Height: 185 cm
- Weight: 106 kg
- Province: North Harbour
- Provincial Debut: 2007 v Wellington
- Blues Debut: 2012 v Highlanders
- Blues Caps: 79 (77 SR)
- Test Caps: 2
- Test Debut: 2014 v Scotland
Educated at Kings College in Auckland, James was selected for North Harbour in 2009 and has now played 80 games. He was selected for the Blues Wider Training Group in 2012. He debuted for the Blues against the Highlanders that year and by 2013, Parsons had made the full squad with a selection for the team’s tour of South Africa.
After developing at the Super Rugby level, Parsons was then called in to the All Blacks northern tour at the end of 2014 for injury cover. He earned his first All Blacks cap against Scotland on this tour.
He took over the captaincy from an injured Jerome Kaino early in 2016 Super Rugby season, and did such a good job that the All Black star asked Parsons to retain the role. It suited him with the hooker producing his best season in Super Rugby that earned the award as Most Valuable Player and also for another call-up to the All Blacks.
James is an uncompromising player, fit, an excellent lineout thrower and strong leader who has played 65 times for the Blues.