Monday 17 December 2018

Ex-Wallabies star says Australia should 'mortgage the house' to poach David Nucifora from Ireland

22 October 2018; IRFU Performance Director David Nucifora during an IRFU Strategic Plan press briefing at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
22 October 2018; IRFU Performance Director David Nucifora during an IRFU Strategic Plan press briefing at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

IRFU Performance Director David Nucifora has come in for criticism at times during his tenure but the Irish team is currently enjoying unprecedented success.

Nucifora has been in the role since June 2014, which sees him oversee all aspects of Irish rugby, from coaching appointments at the provinces, to player transfers to dealing with contracts.

Some of the Australian's decisions haven't been very popular - such as refusing to sanction a new deal for Ulster's Springbok scrum-half Ruan Pienaar - but Irish rugby is now seeing the benefit of his work.

Nucifora's success hasn't gone unnoticed in his home country either. Rugby is struggling mightily at all levels in Australia, with Michael Cheika under huge pressure as Wallabies head coach.

Former Australia hooker Brendan Cannon thinks that the Australian Rugby Union should give Nucifora a blank cheque to return home and implement a similar system in Australia to what Ireland have, where the top players are centrally contracted to the union.

"Rugby Australia should be mortgaging the bank and the house to get David Nucifora back to allow him to implement carte blanche, free rein, a centralised system," Cannon told Australian media outlet AAP.

"He’s spent time overseas and is now looking back at Australia; he’s been a part of the most successful transformation of recent times of a national side.

"Throw the bank at him to get him back."

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