Nucifora steps down as Blues coach



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David Nucifora has decided to step down as the Blues rugby coach at the end of the Super 14.


After being coach of the Blues franchise for three years with a year as technical advisor before that Nucifora said he would return to Australia with his family at the end of this year’s season.

“With (our) children about to start high school, our decision had to come down to what is best for our family,” he said in a statement published in the NZ Herald.

“The timing of my contract meant I had to make a definite call now, and it was a very tough call to make.”

Nucifora added that he had been in discussions with the Australian Rugby Union but does not have a confirmed job at present.

“If I was to continue coaching at this level, I would have stayed with the Blues. These last three years have been the most enjoyable of my coaching career. It has been an absolute privilege.”

Blues CEO Andy Dalton said while he was disappointed Nucifora was not continuing with the franchise he understood the reasons why.

“From the outset, David has informed me of family factors that would affect his decision to coach the Blues. I have huge respect for him and the significant results he has achieved within the franchise since he became Head Coach.

“We are sorry to see him go but will farewell him at the end of this competition with our best wishes.”

The announcement comes at this time because Nucifora was obliged by the terms of his contract to advise the New Zealand Rugby Union of his intentions by the end of April.

NZRU General Manager of Professional Rugby Neil Sorensen said Nucifora went with the best wishes of the NZRU.

“We know the reasons for him wanting to go home and wish him and his family all the very best back in Australia. David has been an outstanding coach and we thank him for his contribution.”

Sorensen said Nucifora’s departure would now give other coaches the opportunity to take over one of New Zealand’s leading rugby teams.

He said the Blues franchise and the NZRU would start the recruitment process at the conclusion of the Rebel Sport Super 14.

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