IRFU Performance Director thinks 'We’ve got some real coaching intellect in this country'

David Nucifora says the recent addition of Rassie Erasmus will only add to the excellent coaches already on these shores

IRFU Performance Director thinks 'We’ve got some real coaching intellect in this country'

©INPHO/Billy Stickland

The appointment of Rassie Erasmus has brought a new hope for Munster next season following a turbulent couple seasons.

The former Springbok will take up a Director of Rugby role with the province from next season in an effort to arrest an alarming slide into their fortunes.

IRFU Performance Director David Nucifora had a large helping hand in landing the much vaunted coach, feeling that he will be another great addition to the rugby brains already present on these shores. 

“I’ve known Rassie through coaching against him in Super Rugby and obviously he’s been doing a job very similar to mine in South Africa,” Nucifora said in an interview with the Sunday Times.

“I’ve a lot of respect for what he’s done in both areas and I think we’re very lucky to have snared him.

“Professional sport is all about getting the best people and this means we’ve another top-class operator in the Irish system. When you add Rassie to the mix of Pat (Lam), Les (Kiss), Joe (Schmidt), Andy Farrell and so on, we’ve got some real coaching intellect in this country and I can’t stress how important that is to get the best out of what is a narrow playing base. Things are falling into place.”

It hasn't been the easiest of seasons in Irish rugby, with Ireland's meek exit at the World Cup followed up by disastrous European Campaign's from the provinces in the Champions Cup. 

Entering into the final straight and there is a slightly more positive outlook, with Ulster, Connacht and Leinster on course for the Pro12 semi-finals, with Munster still fighting for sixth place. 

Connacht have already secured their place in the final four of the Pro12, and continue to be the beaming light of Irish rugby this season as their adventurous, running style of rugby has drawn admirers from far and wide. 

Nucifora is one of those who have tracked their progress closely, and he feels the Westerners are finally reaping the rewards of systems and structures put in place years ago. 

“Connacht got themselves there by being pushed down that path but now they’ve built a model that is sustainable and they are benefiting from it.

“They’ve got a good coaching group, good young players and they are giving them opportunity. They’re being well-managed, well-run, they’ve got good systems and processes in place, so their success on the field doesn’t happen by accident. There’s no reason why that model can’t work elsewhere.”