IRFU extend contract of David Nucifora

Performance director will oversee professional game until at least 2022 season

IRFU performance director David Nucifora’s contract has been extended for a further further three years to the end of the 2021/22 season.

Appointed in April 2014, Nucifora was charged with developing and advancing all aspects of the professional game in Ireland including the elite player development pathway, succession planning, professional coach development and overseeing all representative team performance from the provinces through to underage sides and the Ireland national teams.

Other areas of focus include medical, sport science and elite referee development.

A former Australia international, Nucifora was previously general manager of the ARU high performance unit.


IRFU chief executive Philip Brown said: “The IRFU’s Plan Ireland report identified the need to create a Performance Director role to maximise the potential of our elite player pathway and identify areas where we as an organisation can improve, innovate and strive to be a leading nation in world rugby.

“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 said: “I am delighted to sign up for another three years. Myself and my family have really enjoyed our time in Ireland to date and I am excited about the prospect of driving further advancements in Irish Rugby’s performance pathway.

“Over the coming months we will see the culmination of a number of years work on a couple of very important projects. Irish Rugby’s High Performance Centre in Abbotstown 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. This will further enhance Irish Rugby’s ability to build on their important player welfare management programme.”