Nucifora re-signs with NZRU and Blues


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David Nucifora has ruled himself out of any possible move back to Australia, where he was recently linked with the Wallaby coaching job post-World Cup.


It was confirmed on Wednesday that the Blues coach, Nucifora, has agreed to a new two-year contract with the New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) and the Blues.

Nucifora, who took the Brumbies to Super 12 victory in 2004 before being dumped, was appointed as the Blues’ head coach in 2006, following a year as the team’s Technical Advisor in 2005.

This season the Blues reached the Super 14 semi-finals for only the second time in nine years, losing 18-34 to the Sharks in Durban.

While Nucifora is “proud” of the team’s achievement, he says it has left a feeling of unfinished business.

“I really enjoyed coaching the Blues this season,” Nucifora said.

“The whole squad – players, coaching staff and management – are an excellent group to work with. I was pleased with our performance this year and the team made some big in-roads in development on and off the field.

“But there’s a bit more to be done yet and I’m excited about the challenge ahead.”

NZRU deputy CEO Steve Tew said the re-appointment was an encouraging step in retaining top coaching talent at the top level of the game in New Zealand.

“David has proved his coaching credentials in Australia and in New Zealand and we are pleased that we have retained his services,” Tew said.

Blues’ CEO Andy Dalton is thrilled Nucifora has accepted the offer to continue on with the Blues.

“I have enormous respect for David both as a coach and a leader,” Dalton said.

“He has worked extremely hard over the past couple of years to get the Blues to where they are now. He has the full support of the Blues’ Board and we are fortunate to have him lead our side into future Super 14 campaigns.

“As Blues’ head coach, he oversees players from Auckland, North Harbour and Northland and has fully supported our endeavours to pull the Blues’ franchise region closer together.”

One of the most successful coaches in Super 14 history, Nucifora guided the Brumbies to the 2004 Super 12 title, following three successive seasons as semi-finalists. That same year, Nucifora was named Australian Coach of the Year for the third consecutive year.
Nucifora has been living in Auckland for nearly four years with his family.


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