Eric Elwood will bring the curtain down on a 24-year rugby career with Connacht Rugby when he takes charge of the province for the final time on Friday against Glasgow Warriors (7.45pm).
The Sportsground is sure to be an emotional cauldron of noise for the visit of Gregor Townsend’s title chasers, with the departure of Mike McCarthy and the retirements of Johnny O’Connor and Adrian Flavin also a factor.
Elwood’s last game involved with Connacht is sure to bring a tear to many hardened eyes, but he is determined to keep focused on the goal of clinching another win.
“Obviously as it is my last game and the last game for some of the boys, it will be an emotional occasion. But it is important hat we keep remembering that there is four points up for grabs.
“We want to improve on last year and if we win we will have a record number of wins to go with our best away record so far. And we will get nothing easy from a Glasgow side that are chasing a home semi-final,” said Elwood.
As well as it being his own finale, Elwood is hopeful that O’Connor will be able to recover from an ankle injury in time to play one more time in the College Road venue. But he also has a number of more serious injury concerns after their 23-23 draw away to Treviso.
“Johnny trained with us today so we are confident that he’ll be available for selection. It would be nice for him to play some part.
“George Naoupu is a bit of a doubt after he strained his hamstring in the warm-up at Treviso, and we have concerns over Ronan Loughney (calf), Mike McCarthy (ankle), Mcihael Swift (elbow) and Brian Murphy who tweaked his knee.
“For sure it is hard to believe that this is my last week of 24 years involvement with Connacht. But your time always comes and I am just happy to be going out on my own terms.
“It will be an emotional night for everyone involved in the team and province, but I just hope that we get the good crowd that will help us copper fasten what has been a good season,” he said.