Thirteen months ago former Wallaby and Brumbies coach David Nucifora, who was reportedly ruled out of Australian rugby, is now returning to work with Rugby Australia in a new “advisory role.” Alongside Nucifora’s return, Phil Waugh, the CEO of RA, announced the appointment of Peter Horne as the new Director of High Performance Rugby. Horne will join RA in March and is expected to help with the selection of a new coach as well as various other high-performance aspects of Australian rugby.
Nucifora, who is finishing his commitments with Irish Rugby after the upcoming Olympics, will commence his new role afterwards. WA CEO Phil Waugh expressed his enthusiasm for the return of Nucifora, stating that the aim is not to copy systems from other countries, but to take ideas and concepts and apply them locally. Furthermore, Horne’s experience and understanding of Australian rugby make him a great fit for the Director of High Performance Rugby role. He will be responsible for leading all aspects of Australia’s high-performance programs, including the Wallabies, Wallaroos, and Sevens teams. His focus will be on setting up systems and structures for a successful future for Australian Rugby teams.
Horne expressed his honor to be chosen for this role and highlighted the positive progress in Australian rugby. He mentioned the success of the Women’s Sevens team, the potential in Women’s Rugby, and the need to overhaul the high-performance systems and pathways to achieve success for the Wallabies, Wallaroos, and Sevens teams. In addition, Waugh and Horne both emphasized the need for a more aligned system tailored to the unique nature of Australian rugby. Finally, Waugh confirmed that all five Super Rugby clubs support Horne’s appointment and are looking forward to working with him.