Nucifora plays down Wallabies job talk

David Nucifora may have been linked to the Australia coaching job but he insists he will not be walking away from the Blues to head back across the Tasman. [more]

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David Nucifora may have been linked to the Australia coaching job but he insists he will not be walking away from the Blues to head back across the Tasman.

Eddie Jones was sacked late last week after a dismal run of performances which has seen them lose eight of their past nine Tests.

While Nucifora, who led the ACT Brumbies to the Super 12 title in 2004 before being axed, would dearly love to coach the Wallabies, it is not likely to happen in the near future.

Nucifora joined the Blues set-up this year working alongside head coach Peter Sloane.

He was appointed head coach for next year’s inaugural Super 14 competition when Sloane decided to step down after four years in charge.

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"I’ve got a contract here and I’ve put a lot of work into getting the Blues where they are at the moment," Nucifora told the Sunday News.

"It would be a difficult thing for me to walk away from this and I couldn’t go, even if I wanted to, because I have a contract.

"All coaching jobs are about timing. One day I’d dearly love to coach the Wallabies but if the timing’s not right, then so be it."

Given the Wallabies’ dreadful tour of Europe recently, where their tight five struggled and were thoroughly embarrassed by England, Nucifora believes whoever takes over will face a tough task to turn things around in time for the World Cup in France in 2007.

"There’s the obvious problems around their tight five and there definitely needs to be some development work right through the playing ranks in Australia in those positions," he said.

"The problems can be overcome, there’s no doubt about that, but it will be a tough ask to fix them before the World Cup. Nothing is impossible, but it will be tough and there’d need to be some major problems fixed in a hurry."

Waratahs coach Ewen McKenzie is the front-runner to take over from Jones and has expressed a desire to take on the job.

Others being touted for the position include Queensland coach John Connelly, Leicester Tigers coach Pat Howard and Welsh skills coach Scott Johnson.

Former New Zealand coach John Mitchell, now with new Australian Super 14 franchise the Western Force, has already said he is not interested in the position.

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