February 8, 2012 — Life University (LIFE) rugby player and coach Paul Emerick has been signed to the London Wasps, one of 12 English rugby unions making up the elite Aviva Premiership — the highest league of play in the English rugby system.
Emerick, who is earning his Master’s degree in Sport Health Science at Life University, has played rugby internationally since achieving All-American status at Northern Iowa University in 2003. He came to Life University from Ulster, the Irish professional union team, after playing in both the Italian and Celtic leagues. Most recently, he represented the U.S. in the 2011 Rugby World Cup. He flew to London Feb. 5, on a short-term contract to finish the remainder of the 2012 season with the Wasps. A longer-term contract is still up for negotiation.
Says Emerick of the signing, which was made official Feb. 2, 2012, “I’m very excited and happy with the offer. It has definitely been a goal for me to play in that league [Aviva Premiership], as it’s one of the best — if not the best — competitions in Europe.”
The 32-year-old center/wing had been playing on LIFE’s Rugby Super League team, serving as back coach for the LIFE College Premiere Division Team, and as co-head coach for LIFE’s Rugby Sevens Team. Emerick’s involvement with the LIFE Rugby program has played a significant role in furthering his career.
“Our entire program is excited to watch him take on this tremendous opportunity,” says LIFE Rugby Director Dan Payne. “When one of our players is able to compete on the international or professional stage, it’s a victory for the entire program and a credit to the training environment at LIFE. Paul contributes to that environment immensely. Obviously, the value and energy he brings to our program will be hard to replace.”
In October 2011, Emerick tore his medial collateral ligament (MCL) and was fully rehabilitated on campus at Life University’s Sport Science Institute (LUSSI), a state-of-the-art training and rehabilitation facility. LUSSI is chiropractic-based, and uses a coordinated team of professionals to provide integrated science and technology to assist elite athletes in achieving optimum physical performance, injury prevention and sustained rehabilitation. “I feel good and healthy,” Emerick says, “It’s a credit to my rehab at LIFE. Working in this professional environment gave me the confidence to play at that level for the Wasps.”
Source: Life University, www.life.edu