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David Nucifora signs new deal to stay with IRFU until 2022

The Australian has made landmark changes in Irish rugby since arriving in 2014.

Nucifora with incoming head coach Andy Farrell.
Nucifora with incoming head coach Andy Farrell.
Image: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

IRFU PERFORMANCE DIRECTOR David Nucifora has signed a three-year extension to his contract, keeping him with the union until the end of the 2021/22 season.

Five years on from his initial appointment, the Australian has proven successful in his role at the top tier of Irish rugby with increased movement of Irish players between provinces and the emergence of serious Sevens teams signalling progress.

The42 reported last week that the 57-year-old was set to re-commit to the IRFU for the period beyond Joe Schmidt’s tenure as head coach.

Today’s statement from the IRFU also credits Nucifora with progress in the player development pathway and talent identification in overseas-based Irish-qualified talent.

IRFU CEO Philip Browne said: “David has delivered across a huge number of areas in that regard and Irish Rugby is in a better place for the experience, leadership and passion he has brought to the role.  We are delighted that he has agreed to continue this important work over the coming years.”

Nucifora made time in the statement to outline future projects.

David Nucifora Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

“Over the coming months we will see the culmination of a number of years work on a couple of very  important projects,” said the Australian.

“Irish Rugby’s High Performance Centre in Abbottstown will come on stream during the summer and another significant piece of infrastructure – a centralised player data management platform that ties together all of the disciplines that support Irish Rugby from the start of the Elite Player Pathway through to the National Team will be in place ahead of the new season. “ 

He added: “One of the next big challenges will be to ensure that the IRFU’s competition and development structures support the ambitions of young players wishing to pursue an elite pathway in the game. This will involve greater alignment of the programmes in both the performance and participation pathways.”

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