New Orleans Gold Rugby Club re-signed JP Eloff through the 2021 Major League Rugby season. Eloff has been with NOLA Gold since he signed November 2017. He was a first-team All MLR first XV selection in 2019.
Eloff is 28 years old, is 5’11” and 185 lbs. Although he plays fullback with the team, he is a versatile player and has also played flyhalf 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 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 10 test matches against Germany on Nov 18, 2017.
Eloff played professional rugby in 2016 with the Ohio Aviators, however, his season was cut short by an injury. He was interviewed for a DJCoil Rugby article in 2016 about the challenges of playing professional rugby. The interview 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.
Ryan Fitzgerald, General Manager said that “JP is a true professional. He’s an elite player with first-class character. As our Vice-Captain this year, he did a great job as a leader on and off the pitch. He’s a game-changer for us, with well deserved 1st Team All-MLR awards this season and we look forward to riding that momentum for years to come.”