Former College American Football standout Psalm Wooching has scored his first international try for the USA.
A former Division 1 college football player, Wooching turned down a chance at the NFL to pursue rugby – a story we featured earlier in the year on RugbyPass.com.
When the 6’3, 100kg Washington Huskies linebacker announced on Twitter back in February that he was to pursue a career in rugby, the reaction was overwhelmingly positive. Friends, family and fans all saw and respected his passion for the game.
Eight months on from that decision he has scored his first international try, for USA ‘A’ in the Americas Pacific Challenge. While the try itself owed more to a great crossfield kick from the USA’s flyhalf Mike McCarthy, Wooching, who was playing openside, fielded the kick with ease before dotting down.
CREDIT: World Rugby
His efforts also caught the attention of former England backrow Steffon Armitage, who tweeted as much.
Nice work brotha @PsalmWooching doing number7 proud ??
— Steffon Armitage (@Magicsteffo7) October 12, 2017
A big, dynamic athlete, Wooching spent his college football career making tackles, although it’s noteworthy that he also took to the field as a running back during his High School days in his hometown of Kailua-Kona. And it’s his ball carrying abilities that will come to the fore once again in rugby, with a position in the backs a natural fit for the powerful Hawaiian.
After announcing his intentions earlier in the year, it did not take long for Wooching to make it onto the radar of professional clubs on the other side of the Atlantic. He earned a trial with Pau which was allegedly brokered by former Ireland head coach Eddie O’Sullivan. The home of All Blacks Colin Slade and Conrad Smith among others, Wooching would have taken an immediate step up in class.
During the summer he put in impressive displays at the Mauritius 10’s tournament with Harlequins, as well as a stint with Hong Kong Scottish. His highlights reel show a powerful athlete and one that knows what he’s doing on a rugby field.
You can see full match highlights from this match between the USA and Uruguay below.