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Gordon D'Arcy on David Nucifora: 'We’re being left in the dark'

“What does success look like for David Nucifora?” questioned former-Irish rugby international...


Gordon D'Arcy on David Nucifora: 'We’re being left in the dark'

“What does success look like for David Nucifora?” questioned former-Irish rugby international Gordon D’Arcy on Thursday’s OTB AM, “because the media and most people that would take a keen interest in this are not that clear on it.”

In light of the recent dip in Irish performances, concerns have been raised about the state of professional development in the national rugby set-up, a lot of which have been aimed at IRFU High-Performance Director David Nucifora.

Criticism has been mounting since Ireland once again exited a world cup in the quarter-final stages last year in Japan. With particular concern emerging from the lack of insight provided to the public about why this was. “The review from the rugby world cup has not been openly shared. It’s been addressed and we have to take people’s word from that” D’Arcy told OTB AM.

“Every job has a job description and every job had those key performance indicators. Everybody would just like to understand what they are and have a better understanding of them.”

Gordon D'Arcy Ireland's Gordon D'Arcy. Photo by Henri Szwarc

This secrecy is not something many within the Irish camp would be particularly familiar with explains D’Arcy. “One of the things I’m very used to with Joe (Schmidt) was around clarity.

"You may not always like the clarity but once you have it and once you’re being upfront about things it’s easier to critique and move on from it, but I do feel we’re being largely left in the dark with a lot of this.”

Questions have also been raised about what exactly the Australian’s role entails within the national framework of player development. “There is an absence of what his remit is. It’s very, very loose” says D’Arcy.

“This isn’t a public caning of David Nucifora, does it (connecting grassroots rugby to professional development) fall under his remit or not? And if not, who does it fall under? Where is the development of the pathway from the club game into the professional game?”

Ger Gilroy and Eoin Sheahan caught up with Gordon D'Arcy on Thursday morning's OTB AM.

For D’Arcy, this club pathway is the key to creating a smooth transition, particularly within the youth development sections.

“You go down to any underage club and you will see a couple hundred kids there every week. What coaching are they getting? Is it the same quality? These are all the bits that we need to understand."

“We talk about this pathway into elite rugby, the club game has to be the main under-developed resource in the country and the whole thing has to knit together.”

Ultimately, Gordon D’Arcy believes the role held by David Nucifora is necessary, but to make it successful greater accountability is key:

“The role is the right role, but that open conversation and that open clarity around it needs to be detailed to the people that care and the stakeholders because media are a stakeholder in this, fans are a stakeholder in this. The clubs, the supporters, everybody is in it.”

Written by Catherine Murphy

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David Nucifora Development Gordon D'arcy High Performance Ireland Rugby