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Ireland
David Nucifora takes IRFU high performance role
ESPN Staff
March 31, 2014
Auckland Blues coach David Nucifora announces the 2008 Super 14 squad at a press conference held at the Sky City Grand Hotel, Auckland, New Zealand, October 31, 2007
David Nucifora - the post is designed in part to ease some of Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt's workload © Getty Images
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Former Wallabies hooker David Nucifora will be installed as the Irish Rugby Football Union's high performance director in time for the summer tour to Argentina.

His appointment should be formally confirmed once the long-term wrangling over the future of European club rugby is completed. The IRFU is understood to be keen to tie up the negotiations on the competition to replace the Heineken Cup before completing the formalities on Nucifora's new role.

Nucifora, 52, will assume a post designed in part to ease some of Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt's workload.

Nucifora's wide-ranging remit will be to take an overview on the professional game in Ireland, ensuring performance standards and helping maintain and expand the depth of top-level talent. His appointment will not affect the make-up of Schmidt's backroom staff, with the roles of assistant coach Les Kiss and forwards specialist John Plumtree remaining unchanged.

The IRFU hope this appointment will allow Schmidt to focus yet more intently on Ireland's long drive towards Rugby World Cup 2015.

Schmidt worked as Nucifora's assistant at the Blues in Super Rugby in 2006, and he will have ratified the IRFU's move. After coaching the Brumbies and the Blues, Nucifora assumed the role of general manager in the ARU's high performance unit.

Nucifora resigned his ARU post in December 2012, closely following managing director and chief executive John O'Neill's exit.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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