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Ex international David Humphreys to join Ireland set-up

By Josh Raisey
ECB Director of Cricket Operations David Humphreys during a nets session at Lord's Cricket Ground on May 31, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Former Ireland fly-half David Humphreys has been named the IRFU’s new Performance Director, taking on the position at the end of the season.

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The 72-cap Ireland international will replace David Nucifora at the end of the season after a period of working alongside him as Performance Director Designate from March.

Humphreys has been working as the Director of Performance Operations with the England & Wales Cricket Board since February, but will return to rugby having previously spent six years as Director of Rugby at Ulster and another six years at Gloucester. He has also served as a High Performance Consultant with Georgia.

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The former Ulster No10 will be responsible for delivering consistent and sustained performances by the Ireland’s various national teams through excellence and innovation.

After his appointment was confirmed by the IRFU, Humphreys said: “I was fortunate to have a wonderful playing career with Ireland and I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to play a part in another chapter of Irish Rugby’s history. This role is the fulfilment of a lifelong ambition and I look forward to building on the successful systems put in place by David Nucifora, who has been a driving force behind Irish Rugby for ten years.

“The chance now to further develop the pathways in the Men’s and Women’s game hugely excites me and I am really looking forward to working with all the coaches, provinces, players, and backroom teams to ensure that Irish Rugby continues to go from strength to strength.”

IRFU CEO Kevin Potts said: “In David Humphreys we know we have found someone who believes passionately in Irish Rugby and has the expertise, skills, and desire to keep us competitive on the world stage. Our search took us globally and ultimately David was the stand-out candidate.

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“David’s journey from a schools player to representing his province and then to the national game ideally places him to understand the needs of the player. His local knowledge and 30 years’ experience of elite rugby and immersion in high performance, previously with Cricket Ireland’s High Performance Committee and now his current role with the England & Wales Cricket Board, will bring about enormous benefits and we are excited for the next stage in our evolution.

“David’s observations about the development of the system over the last decade showed a deep understanding and I was enthused by his energy and vision for rugby in Ireland and cannot wait to see him bring it to life.

“I would like to thank David Nucifora for the outstanding contribution he has made in building our high performance unit over almost a decade and wish him every success in his future endeavours. Of course, before he concludes, there is still much to be done this season, including the upcoming 2024 Six Nations Championship for our Men, Women and U20s as well as preparing our Sevens teams for the Paris Olympics.

“He will leave a solid foundation for David Humphreys to build upon and we are grateful for his commitment to working with his successor through next Spring, ensuring a smooth handover of this key role for Irish Rugby.”

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