The Hounds acquired outside back J.P. (Jean Pierre) Eloff from the NOLA Gold in exchange for salary cap considerations in the 2023 Major League Rugby season.
“I can’t be more thankful that God has blessed me with another opportunity to play rugby in Chicago,” expressed Eloff. “Chicago has always been a big part of my rugby career and to be back in this city playing for the newest franchise means the world to me.”
Eloff spent his first five MLR seasons (2018-2022) in New Orleans where he appeared in 36 games with 32 starts. He earned first-team All-MLR honors in 2019 and finished top-five in total points scored in two MLR seasons.
In 2018, the first year of MLR, he finished third in the league for total points scored (65). He earned first-team All-MLR honors in 2019, appearing in 16 contests and playing a total of 1,236 minutes. He ran for 1,381 meters on 137 carries (10.1 meters per carry) and scored four tries, 44 conversions, and 11 penalties for a total of 141 points scored (4th in MLR).
Eloff missed the 2021 MLR season due to injury before returning for the Gold in 2022 with nine starts in his 13 appearances. He had 113 carries for 1,003 meters gained (8.9 meters per carry). He finished the season with eight clean breaks and 30 total defenders beaten.
“Big thanks to the organization for letting me be a part of what I believe will be one of the best rugby organizations in the United States,” Eloff continued. “This city is electric when it comes to sport, and the energy fans bring will push anyone to perform their best.”
Eloff, a native of Pretoria, South Africa, won back-to-back national championships with the Davenport Panthers in college, earning first-team All-American honors in his freshman, sophomore, and junior seasons. Upon graduation, Eloff spent time playing with the Chicago Lions. He’s earned 10 caps for the United States National Team.