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Speaking to the governing body of rugby in the USA, USA Rugby 33 year old Paul Emerick announced his immediate retirement for rugby. Having earned a total of fifty-three test caps for the USA over a ten year period and appeared in three Rugby World Cup´s Emerick´s career has come to a close. He made his test debut against Spain in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in April 2003 while his final appearance was in the USA´s record breaking 34-3 win over Romania in Bucharest last November. His retirement comes after he had been unable to fully recover from an ankle injury ad wll not be match-fit to face Canada in the upcoming home and away matches that will determine who qualifies for Rugby World Cup 2015 as Americas 1. He now opens the door for Andrew Suniula to possibly form a permanent centre combination with Seamus Kelly.
Of the many career highlights for the USA Emerick was in the starting XV for the USA team that defeated Japan at Rugby World Cup 2003 and Russia eight years later. He also started and scored against Ireland in the emotional Rugby World Cup 2011 opening match for the USA which was played on the tenth anniversary of the September 11 tragedy. Emerick´s 53 caps included tries in 16 tests. He scored against teams from all tiers - first, second and third while he was involved in wins over the likes of Barbados, Canada, Japan, Georgia, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Spain and Uruguay.
Emerick also had a decorated career as a professional. He played in all of England, Italy, Ireland and Wales. Emerick no doubt retires with the national mens team being in much better shape than when he debuted. He also leaves the game after having seen significant transformations in his home country as the profie of rugby is much greater today than when he was a teenager playing in the U.S. Mid-West. In Rugby World Cup 2007 Emerick was one of a limited number of USA players contracted to a professional rugby club. Today, however, USA players Todd Clever, Scott LaValla, Samu Manoa Taku Ngwenya and Chris Wyles are all playing regularly at the elite level as professonals.
Emerick told USA Rugby “No one wants to retire because of injury but as we get older our bodies start to defy our minds. I’ve been fortunate to make a career out of playing rugby. Hopefully I’ll be remembered as a guy who always played his guts out for his team. I’ve had plenty of ups and downs professionally, but rugby has always been fun and I’ll always be grateful that I had the chance to play one of the most dynamic sports in existence.”