Eric Elwood

Eric Elwood is a former Irish rugby union player from Galway. He played as a fly-half. He played for Ireland internationally, and provincially for Connacht. He split his club career between hometown club Galwegians and Lansdowne in Dublin, starting and finishing his career in Galway, with a stint playing with Lansdowne in the 1990s. Elwood earned 35 caps for Ireland, scoring 296 points for the side. He played 168 games for Connacht scoring 1,038 points. He was the first Connacht player to make 100 appearances for the side, while his points tally is still the greatest ever recorded for the team. Elwood also made a single appearance for international invitational side the Barbarians before being capped by Ireland.

Eric Elwood
Eric Elwood HK Sevens 1993.png
Eric Elwood at the HK Sevens in 1993
Birth nameEric Paul Elwood
Date of birth (1969-02-26) 26 February 1969 (age 52)
Place of birthGalway, Ireland
Height5 ft 11 in (180 cm)
Weight203 lb (92 kg)
Rugby union career
Position(s) Fly-half
Amateur team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)
1989–2005 Connacht 168[1] (1,038)
Correct as of 16 April 2005
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
Correct as of 16 October 1999
Teams coached
Years Team
Connacht (Assistant)
Ireland U20
Connacht (Kicking)
Connacht Academy
Correct as of 25 March 2019

After retiring from playing, Elwood went into coaching. He served as assistant coach for Connacht and then as coach of the Ireland under-20 side, where he won a Grand Slam in 2007. In 2010, he became head coach of Connacht and led the team to the Heineken Cup for the first time. He held this position until his decision to resign at the end of the 2012–13 season. He has since taken a variety of roles within the provincial set up, taking the role of Domestic Rugby Manager in 2015. Elwood returned to first team coaching in 2016 when he became kicking coach. In 2017, he moved roles again when he was appointed head of the Connacht Academy.

Playing careerEdit

When Elwood was first capped for Ireland, he was playing for Lansdowne, but he later returned to Galwegians, the club of his youth. While playing for Connacht Elwood made 168 appearances and scored a record 1,038 points. His number of appearances for Connacht was also the record until November 2009, when Michael Swift overtook him.[2]

Elwood played 35 times for Ireland and scored a total of 296 points. This total places him at number four in the all-time points scorers for Ireland.[3] He also participated in two Rugby World Cups, in the 1995 tournament which took place in South Africa, and 1999's tournament, in France. He made his last appearance for Ireland coming on as a substitute in their play-off loss to Argentina at the 1999 World Cup in Lens.

In 1993, Elwood was called up for the Barbarians invitational side. He played against New Zealand at Cardiff Arms Park. The Barbarians lost the game 12–25, with Elwood scoring all of the team's points, converting four penalties.

Elwood also played Gaelic Football for Galway appearing in the 1990 Connacht Football Final defeat to Roscommon.

Coaching careerEdit

Following retirement from playing for Connacht, Elwood worked as an assistant coach for the province. Elwood was coach to the Ireland Under-20 for a time in 2006 and 2007. He coached the team to a grand slam in the 2007 Six Nations Under 20s Championship.[4]

Elwood took over from Michael Bradley as director of coaching at Connacht following the end of the 2009–10 season.[5] Elwood was in charge of Connacht for their Heineken Cup appearance in the 2011–12 competition, thanks to Leinster winning the 2011 Heineken Cup Final. Connacht lost their first five matches in the pool stages, claiming losing bonuses in both of their ties with Gloucester. In the final game of their pool, however, they managed an upset, beating Harlequins 9–8 in the Galway Sportsgrounds, which prevented the Premiership club from topping the group, and knocked them down into the Amlin Cup.[6]

He also coached the team in the 2012–13 Heineken Cup, with the team winning three of their pool matches. The victories came in the home and away ties with newly formed Italian professional team Zebre, along with a victory at home to 2009–10 finalists and 2011–12 Challenge Cup winners Biarritz.

In October 2012, Elwood announced he would be departing as Connacht coach at the end of the 2012–13 season,[7][8] and he was succeeded as coach by former Samoa international and Auckland Blues head coach, Pat Lam.[9]


  1. ^ "Elwood takes over as Connacht coach". BBC. 3 March 2010. Retrieved 30 March 2013.
  2. ^ "Swift Becomes Connacht's Most-Capped Player". Irish Rugby. 14 December 2009.
  3. ^ IRFU, All Time Points Scorers All Time Points Scorers Archived 3 March 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "Ireland Under-20s: A Season To Remember". Irish Rugby. 17 March 2007. Archived from the original on 17 December 2013.
  5. ^ Connacht Rugby announcement Archived 26 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine Mar 2010.
  6. ^ "Connacht 9–8 Harlequins". RTÉ Sport. 20 January 2012.
  7. ^ "Elwood: 'Emotional' decision to exit Connacht was my own". Irish Examiner. 3 October 2012. Retrieved 4 October 2012.
  8. ^ "Eric Elwood departure from Connacht confirmed". RTÉ Sport. 3 October 2012. Retrieved 4 October 2012.
  9. ^ "Lam Appointed As Connacht Head Coach". Irish Rugby. 12 January 2013.

External linksEdit