Sport Rugby

Sunday 24 September 2017

Muldoon upset by criticism of Elwood

John Fallon

Connacht's John Muldoon has hit out at pundits who have criticised Eric Elwood's decision to step down at the end of the season.

Muldoon said that Elwood had given almost a quarter of a century of his life to Connacht and that he was perfectly entitled to announce that he wanted to step down when the current campaign was over.

"It was upsetting to hear at the weekend that certain journalists and pundits were questioning Eric and calling him selfish. Anyone that knows Eric, knows that is the complete opposite.

"Eric has given everything, probably to the detriment of Eric, because he gives everything and he'd be the first to admit that he can't sometimes back away and he can't let the small things lie. That's Eric's nature and that's Eric's personality -- it has been hard on him and hard on his family. And he has decided to be selfish for Eric Elwood for once in his life."

The Portumna native admitted that Elwood's decision came as a big surprise to the players: "It is a massive shock. He pulled a couple of us in on the Monday morning to tell us. I was very surprised.

"I certainly hope he'll come back into rugby at some stage," added the 29-year old.

Muldoon said that Elwood's departure will be used as a motivating factor for the remainder of the season.

"We knew it was an emotional game against Ulster, but we also were aware that Eric had never won up in Ulster and we wanted to send him off on a high, so that disappointed us.

"But it is a long year before Eric finishes and for him to walk out and say he has done the best he could, that is certainly a high motivational factor for everyone," added Muldoon.

Irish Independent

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