Elwood confirms he is to step down
Rugby:Eric Elwood has confirmed he will step down as coach of Connacht when his contract expires at the end of the current season.
The 43 year-old has decided to end his 24-year association with the province because he feels the time is right, for both himself and Connacht.
“I have come to this decision after thinking long and hard about what is best for me and also what is best for Connacht,” he said today. “I have given a big part of my life to Connacht Rugby and I feel that it is time for me to have a change and time for the province to have a change as well.
“I want to stress that this has nothing to do with any on field issues or performances or anything off the field. Connacht has progressed enormously in the last couple of years and I can only see that continuing but for me personally the time is right to step aside at the end of this season and let someone else take things on.
“It is a decision that I have not made lightly and it’s an emotional one but again I would like to make it very clear that it is my decision and no-one else’s. I have not been under any pressure to step down and I have always received great support from the IRFU, the professional game board and everyone involved with Connacht.”
The former Ireland outhalf, who won 35 caps for his country and played in two World Cups, made 165 appearances for Connacht and assisted Michael Bradley before taking the role of head coach in 2010.
“Eric Elwood is synonymous with Connacht Rugby and he will leave a big void,” said chief executive Tom Sears. “His decision has come as a surprise but it is one we respect and understand.
“Eric will remain in charge for the rest of the season and we will begin a recruitment process to find someone who can build on the foundations he has put in place and take us to the next level.
“We will look to appoint the very best person we can and they will be charged with delivering the results that will see Connacht challenge successfully on all fronts, the search will be comprehensive and global.”