Sunday 17 November 2019

IRFU plan to interview entire Rugby World Cup playing squad and staff for review of latest World Cup failure

IRFU performance director David Nucifora. Photo: Sportsfile
IRFU performance director David Nucifora. Photo: Sportsfile

Rúaidhrí O'Connor

Ireland's entire Rugby World Cup playing squad and staff will be interviewed as part of an IRFU review into their performance in Japan.

The review will be conducted by the IRFU's performance director David Nucifora, who will draw on an external, independent party to do at least some of the interviews.

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Ireland exited the World Cup at the quarter-final stage after suffering a tournament-record 46-14 defeat to New Zealand in Tokyo two weeks ago, having lost to Japan in the pool stages.

That fell short of their stated aim of reaching a first semi-final and former Australia international Nucifora, who was an accredited member of Ireland's travelling party in Japan, began the review before the team departed Japan two weeks ago and is planning on completing it by the end of November.

Squad and back-room staff members will be asked to fill out surveys, before undergoing their interviews to provide feedback on what went well and what went wrong before and during their ill-fated campaign.

It is not known if the players and staff will be afforded anonymity when providing feedback. The results of the review will not be made public, although Nucifora will hold a media briefing to discuss the findings and the team and management's performance.

Speaking in May, the performance director laid down the challenge to the team and management.

"I think we've got to do better than we've done before, that's the starting point, isn't it? We've got to get to a semi-final, and obviously we want to go further than that if we can," he said.

"But I think we'd be kidding ourselves if we thought that anything worse than a semi-final is going to be good for us. "

Head coach Joe Schmidt has departed his role, with his assistant Andy Farrell - currently in Japan to watch son Owen in today's World Cup final - taking over.

Meanwhile, the fixtures for Ireland's summer tour of Australia have been confirmed.

Ireland summer tour 2020: July 4: Australia v Ireland, Brisbane; July 11: Australia v Ireland, Sydney.

Irish Independent

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