New Orleans Gold – JP Eloff
The New Orleans Gold signed Eagle XVs player JP Eloff to play in the inaugural Major League Rugby season which begins April 2018. Eloff is 26 years old and is 5’11” and weighs 188 pounds. He is a versatile player and has played flyhalf, fullback, and center.
JP Eloff (Jean Pierre) is from Pretoria, South Africa. He graduated from HTS John Vorster in South Africa in 2010. Eloff’s family has an extensive rugby background with older brother Philip having played for the Eagles (#209) in the Rugby World Cup 2003 and 2007.
According to Zack Stryffeler of Rugby WrapUp, and a team-mate of his while with the Ohio Aviators in 2016, “JP Eloff played for the U13, U16 and U18 Bulls competitions. And again to mirror the steps of his brother before him, he had taken his abilities and smooth demeanor to Davenport University where he was an All-American at both the 15 and 7 a side rugby union codes.”
Eloff then moved to the United States to attend Davenport University, where he was a student from 2010-2014, earning a Bachelor’s of Business Administration (BBA) Degree.
While at Davenport, he led Davenport to back-to-back D1-AA National Championships in 2011 & 2012. In 2011 he was selected as Rugby Magazine’s College Player of the Year and also played as an All-American in the 2011 National All-Star Championship.
In an article by Pat Clifton for Rugby Today, he has described that as “The little brother of an Eagle, JP has been the model of what any coach wants from an overseas player. He’s humble, he’s talented, he makes the Americans around him better, and he wants to be an Eagle. From my perspective, there’s no denying kids like JP are good for American rugby. Still, there are those in the American rugby community that would bellyache about Eloff, because ‘instead of teaching Americans how to play skill positions like flyhalf, we rely on foreigners.’”
In 2012, Eloff played with the Chicago Lions in the Summer and the team advanced to the USA Rugby Club 7s Nationals. Eloff has also played with Tiger Rugby and has gone on several international tours with Paul Holmes.
Eloff made his test debut for the Eagles XVs at the Americas Rugby Championship against Canada at Round Rock, Texas on Feb. 13, 2016. He is Eagle #477 and played his last of his 9 test matches against Chile on Feb. 25, 2017. He has also been selected for the Nov. 2017 European tour to play against Germany and Georgia.
Eloff has played professional rugby. In 2016 he was a member of the Ohio Aviators, however, his season was cut short by an injury. He was interviewed for an article in 2016 about the challenges of playing professional rugby. The interview may be viewed below and the other interviews with Ohio Aviators coaches and players may be viewed on the DJCoil Rugby Web Page under Videos, Professional Rugby Interviews or on the DJCoil Rugby YouTube Channel.
New Orleans Gold Rugby Club
- Nate Osborne – Head Coach
- Todd Fitzgerald – Assistant Head Coach and Assistant General Manager
- Sebastián Kalm – Backrow
- Moni Tongauiha – Center
- Hubert Buydens – Loosehead prop
- Eric Howard – Hooker
- Ratu Peceli Rinakama – Flyhalf, Scrum-half, Wing, Fullback
- Bobby Johns – Center, Flyhalf, Scrumhalf
- Matt Hughston – Center, Flanker
- Jojo Tikoisuva – Wing
- Tim Falcon – Owner
- JP Eloff – Flyhalf, Center, Fullback
- Ryan Fitzgerald – General Manager
- Holden Youngert – Scrum-half
- Michael Baska – Fullback
- Derrek Van Klein – Loosehead Prop
- Myles McQuone – Lock
DJCoil Rugby articles by Doug Coil, are also available on Facebook. Other Social Media sites to follow or subscribe include Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube for interviews.