USA center Paul Emerick is back for another round. Now the most capped USA back of all time, with 51, he could extend that number to 54 this fall.
Emerick has been training with Wasps and while he hasn’t seen much 1st XV action, he has played in A games, and been training regularly.
Earlier in the season, Emerick told RUGBYMag.com that not playing a huge number of games isn’t the end of the world at his age, and he is rested and ready to take on Russia Friday in Colwyn Bay, Wales.
“Things are going as expected at the Wasps,” said Emerick. “It's a long season and I'm sure there will be opportunities for me to play later on in the season.”
Emerick got a red card in his last USA game, one that seemed a bit harsh. Cards have followed the Eagle throughout his career, as he has been red-carded twice, and received a suspension for a dump tackle in the 2007 World Cup. He was suspended after this latest red card, but the suspensions for him and his midfield mate Andrew Suniula were not onerous, perhaps reflecting an IRB attitude that the sending offs were a bit over the top.
For his part, Emerick says he doesn’t feel under the referee microscope.
“I'll play hard as I always do,” he said. “None of that plays into my approach to my game.”
Emerick said he wants to continue to do a better job as a passer and distributor. It’s all part of playing a more open style.
“I like the style that Tolks [USA Coach Mike Tolkin] wants to play, but with that comes some challenges and I think we've got the core group of guys who are up to it.”