Wednesday 19 June 2019

New Nucifora deal signals more player movement between provinces

Performance director likely to ramp up policy of inter-province transfers to boost senior side

IRFU Performance Director David Nucifora. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
IRFU Performance Director David Nucifora. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Rúaidhrí O'Connor

The IRFU have signalled their intention to continue with their strategy of increasing player movement between provinces and a focus on Sevens after they agreed a new three-year contract with performance director David Nucifora that will see him remain in position until 2022.

The former Australia hooker was appointed to the newly-created position in 2014 and has overseen a host of changes in the way the game is run.

In particular, Nucifora has sought to clear the pathways to the international team through the provinces by placing limitations on overseas signings while encouraging players in need of game-time to transfer internally.

It is thought that the movement of players between the provinces could well intensify during the next phase of Nucifora's time in charge.

He has promoted the Sevens programme to the point where both the men's and women's teams will be on the World Series circuit next season, while he has been responsible for the post-Joe Schmidt transition that will see Andy Farrell take over as Ireland coach after the World Cup.

While he has enjoyed plenty of success, there have been some discontent within the club and women's XVs game over Nucifora's approach to those areas. His relationship with the provinces, and Leinster in particular, has been strained at times.

However, union chief executive Philip Browne believes he is the right man to carry the game forward.

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

Irish Independent

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