Nucifora to quit as Super 14 Blues coach - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Nucifora to quit as Super 14 Blues coach

01/05/2008 10:39:32 AM Comments (0)

Australian David Nucifora has decided to step down as coach of the Auckland-based Blues Super 14 rugby team at the end of this season.

Nucifora, who has been coach of the Blues franchise for three years with a year as technical advisor before that, said he would return to Australia with his family at the end of this year's Super 14.

The move is likely to strengthen speculation that Nucifora will replace the departing Pat Howard as manager of the Australian Rugby Union's high performance unit.

"With (our) children about to start high school, our decision had to come down to what is best for our family," Nucifora said in a statement.

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

"While I have been in discussions with the Australian Rugby Union, I do not have a confirmed job to go to, nor do I intend to be coaching another Super 14 team."

Former Brumbies mentor Nucifora appeared to rule himself out of contending for the vacant NSW Waratahs head coach post next season.

"If I was to continue coaching at this level, I would have stayed with the Blues," he said.

"These last three years have been the most enjoyable of my coaching career."

Blues chief executive 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."

Although there are three more round-robin games left, the Blues have only an outside chance of qualifying for the playoff. They will need to win all three with bonus points and hope a few teams do them a favour to reach the last four.

Nucifora was obliged by the terms of his contract to advise the New Zealand Rugby Union of his intentions by the end of April.

He said he felt it was important to share his decision at the earliest opportunity with the team and Blues supporters.

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