Connacht Rugby and the IRFU have announced that former Connacht head coach Eric Elwood has been appointed to the role of Domestic Rugby Manager for the province.
Eric Elwood, who played out-half for Connacht and Ireland, held the position of head coach from 2010 to 2013 having previously been assistant coach to Michael Bradley.
Elwood represented Connacht 168 times as a player and won 35 caps for his country, appearing in two Rugby World Cups.
The Galway native, who has been working with pharmaceuticals company Omega Pharma for the past year, will take up the new role at the Sportsground next month.
Commenting on the appointment, Connacht Rugby CEO Willie Ruane said: “This is fantastic news for Connacht Rugby. Domestic Rugby is an area we identified as vital in moving the province forward. Eric will be responsible for growing the game of rugby across the entire province from grassroots level.
“He is someone with huge knowledge and passion for the game and for Connacht Rugby in particular and we are delighted to have him back involved in the organisation.”
IRFU Director of Rugby Development & the Club Game, Scott Walker, added: “Eric brings to the role his experiences as a player and coach which spanned the transition of the game from the amateur to professional era.
“His insight into the importance of the club and school game will see him lead and drive the development of it for the benefit of Irish and Connacht Rugby.”
Elwood commented: “I’m really looking forward to starting in this new role in the New Year. It will certainly be different for me but that is what excites me about it.
“Connacht Rugby has been a huge part of my life and I have always understood the importance of the domestic game in the future of Connacht Rugby as a whole.
“I am looking forward to working with Willie and everyone in the domestic game in what is a truly exciting period for rugby in the west of Ireland.”