Nucifora’s Return: Doubts Dashed as New Head of HP Locked In

Thirteen months ago, David Nucifora all but ruled out a return to Australia in any capacity with Rugby Australia. But on Friday, his return to the fold in an “advisory role” was confirmed by RA CEO Phil Waugh, alongside the appointment of Peter Horne as the Director of High Performance Rugby. Horne will start in March and is expected to help RA decide on a replacement for Eddie Jones. He will be tasked with leading all aspects of Australia’s high-performance programs, from the Wallabies to the Sevens programs, and will focus on coaching, strength and conditioning, and player development to create a successful future for Australian Rugby teams. Nucifora will commence in his advisory role after he finishes his commitments to Irish Rugby next year. His experience delivering a successful, aligned national high-performance Rugby structure with Ireland is expected to bring about positive changes in Australian Rugby. Waugh mentioned that he doesn’t want to copy systems from around the world, but rather wants to take ideas and concepts from similar structures and apply them locally. Horne expressed his honor in being chosen and highlighted the positive progress in Australian Rugby including growth in women’s participation. Both Nucifora and Horne seem to have a deep understanding of the game as well as the vision needed to take Australian Rugby forward.