David Nucifora has announced he will step down as coach of the Auckland-based Blues Super 14 rugby team at the end of this season.
Foxsport reports that 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 the season.
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.
Nucifora says that while he has been in discussions with the Australian Rugby Union, he has nothing lined up.
“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.”
He says he does not intend to coach another Super 14 team, ruling him out of the vacant New South Wales job.
“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 he would be disappointed to see Nucifora go, but understood the reasons behind the decision.
“From the outset, David has informed me of family factors that would affect his decision to coach the Blues,” Dalton said.
“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.”Tweet