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Elwood eyes extra player

CONNACHT are in discussions with the IRFU about the possible implications of the proposed changes to the number of non-Irish qualified players allowed in squads, WRITES JOHN FALLON.

While Connacht are treated separately from the other three provinces -- whose coaches have all voiced their opposition -- Eric Elwood said the change in policy could have an impact for his side.

The Connacht coach confirmed that he is in constant dialogue with the IRFU in an effort to secure a bigger squad for next season and ensure an extra 'special project' player would be made available to the province. "We have our own agenda that we are working on with the IRFU in health and succession planning and that is still a work in progress," said Elwood.

However, with Connacht relying a lot on the movement of players from the other provinces, he recognises that it might become even harder for him to prise young players away as Leinster, Munster and Ulster start to hoard the talent.

"You can look at it two ways: you hope that it can work in your benefit, but when this kicks in then it will have a stress on the four teams, because every other club will look after holding on to their own Irish players," he added.

Irish Independent