New Orleans Gold & Eric Howard
New Orleans Gold Rugby Club has re-signed Canada National Team hooker Eric Howard for the 2019 Major League Rugby season. The 25-year-old player is 5’10” and weighs 233 pounds. He is part of the Leadership group for NOLA Gold and a key contributor to the team.
Eric began to play rugby as a senior at Earl of March High School after previously playing hockey, soccer, and football. Upon graduation, he played rugby at the University of Guelph for the Gryphons for five years until 2016. The last two years with the team he was named MVP for The Gryphons. The team reached the OUA Men’s Rugby league Championship final for the third consecutive year against the Queen’s University Gaels.
Eric is a mobile player and that has been demonstrated with the Brantford Harlequins, the Ontario Blues, Canada, and with NOLA Gold.
Eric’s introduction to international rugby came in 2013 as he represented Canada at the FISU Games in Kazan, Russia.
Eric has also played provincial representative rugby for the Ontario Blues in the Canadian Rugby Championship. Most recently, he was on the 2018 squad.
In 2016 he was named to the Canada National Team for the Americas Rugby Championship. His test debut came against Brazil at Langford on February 20, 2016. Since then, he has earned 14 caps, starting one match. His last test was against the U.S. in Halifax, Nova Scotia on June 23, 2018.
Eric has also been selected for Canada’s repechage team. The National side beat Oxford University and will play another preliminary match against Coventry before matches against Kenya, Germany, and Hong Kong to decide the last remaining sport at the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.
Eric also played at the Hong Kong Rugby 10s for the Penguins in April 2017. This was chronicled by Patrick Johnston in The Province.
Eric also represented the Canada ‘A’ team in the Americas Pacific Challenge at Montevideo, Uruguay. in both 2017 and in 2018.