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Connacht Rugby

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The Westwood Hotel is the ideal base for a visiting fan with easy taxi transfers to and from the stadium. Our sister property Busker Browne’s in the heart of the old Latin Quarter of the City Centre has a strong relationship with Connacht Rugby and post match you can often meet some of the players as they wind down and relax.

History of Connacht Rugby

The Connacht Branch was founded in 1885.The following clubs were represented at that meeting Ballinasloe, Castlebar, Galway Town, Galway Grammar School, Queen College Galway and Ranelagh School Athlone. Ballinasloe as part of Buccaneers RFC, Castlebar and Queens College now NUIG still survive.

There are 29 clubs currently affiliated to the Branch. five of these clubs Buccaneers, Galwegians, Connemara, Sligo and Corithians play in the Ulster Bank All Ireland League. Nineteen clubs (& 5 Senior 2nds teams) play in the Junior Provincial Leagues, they are: Creggs, UCG, Westport, Ballina, Ballinasloe, Ballinrobe, Ballyhaunis, Castlebar, Corrib, Dunmore, Gort, Loughrea, Monivea , OLBC, Portumna, Carrick-on-Shannon and Tuam. There are also six youth clubs, An Ghaeltacht, Oughterard, Erris, Ballaghadreen, Barna and Claremorris. The growth of the game in schools has gathered pace in recent seasons and the game now has a large presence in primary and secondary schools accross the Province culminating the the Schools Junior & Senior Cups each March.

The Branch Headquarters is at Galway City Sportsground. Teams representing the Connacht Branch play in all Interprovincial competitions, the RaboDirect PRO12 and the Heineken Cup.

Eric Elwood is the current director of coaching with Connacht Rugby. A former rugby union player and was capped first for Ireland while playing for Connacht and Lansdowne before he returned to Galwegians RFC, the club of his youth.

Whilst playing for Connacht Eric made over 150 appearances and scored a record 318 points in the Celtic League competition.

Elwood played 35 times for Ireland and scored a total of 296 points. This total places Elwood at number four in the all time points scorers for Ireland.[3] He has also participated in two Rugby World Cups: in 1995 (South Africa) and 1999 (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, France. He also played Gaelic Football for Galway.

He played for the Barbarians against the All Blacks at Cardiff Arms Park on 04/12 1993, a game that the Barbarians lost by 12–25. Elwood scored all the Barbarians' points (converting four penalties).

Elwood was coach to the Ireland Under-20 Rugby team which won a grand slam in the 2006-07 Six Nation Championship.

Elwood took over from Michael Bradley as director of coaching at Connacht following the end of the 2009-10 season

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