Friday, January 7:European Challenge Cup Quarter final, first leg:Grenoble v Connacht, Stade Lesdiguieres, 6.30pm Irish time
With eight players currently out due to injury, coach Michael Bradley's hand has been forced for the province's first ever clash against Grenoble.
35-year-old Elwood - ever closer to the 500-point mark in Europe's second tier competition - returns at number 10, with Paul Warwick switching to inside centre, in place of youngster James Downey. With Conor McPhillips benched, 23-year-old Downey has been shifted out to the right wing.
Ted Robinson replaces Justin Meagher on the left flank.
Scrum-half Chris Keane has also lost his place in Bradley's line-up, with fit-again former Leicester Tiger Tom Tierney to start.
In the pack, South African Pieter Myburgh has got the nod ahead of Christian Short, and due to number eight John O'Sullivan's absence (shoulder), last Saturday's replacement John Muldoon, a former Ireland Under-21, deputises at the base of Connacht's scrum.
Having played some 12 other French outfits in the last nine seasons - including both Narbonne and Montpellier this year - Connacht take on Dean Richards' side, currently 12th in the French Top 16 Championship, on the back of two Celtic League losses to both Munster and Ulster.
Despite this, Bradley is happy to be back on his travels.
"I am always happy to play the first Leg away from home, leaving you with knowing exactly what you have to do in the home match," he said.
"And the game over there promises to be very competitive. I believe they have had a few poor results recently and, with all French teams coming back from a break while we have been playing each weekend, this could be a good time to get them.
"However, we have a lengthy injury list - at the moment we have eight players out - and it is getting to the point where it would be virtually impossible to handle the situation if we got any more injuries," added the former Ireland scrum-half.
The second leg takes place on Saturday, January 15 at the Sportsground, Galway, at 2.00pm.
Route to the Quarter final:Connacht: First round: L11-25 Narbonne (away), W40-21 Narbonne (home)Second round: W56-3 Montpellier (home), L14-19 Montpellier (away)
(15) Matt Mostyn(14) James Downey
(16) John Fogarty(17) Adrian Clarke(18) Christian Short(19) Brendan O'Connor(20) Chris Keane(21) Niall O'Brien(22) Conor McPhillips
Referee: Roy Maybank (England)