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We won't paper over cracks at Ulster, vows IRFU chief

David Nucifora
David Nucifora
Jonathan Bradley

By Jonathan Bradley

Ulster's problems require more than a "sticking plaster" fix, and change at the northern province could be swift.

That's the opinion of one of Irish Rugby's key decision makers, the IRFU's High Performance Director David Nucifora.

Ulster will enter next season amid unprecedented levels of change, with a new head coach, new Chief Executive and without a whole host of retiring stalwarts.

Nucifora has admitted that the radical overhaul was required for a side that finished fourth in their PRO14 conference and haven't made the knockout stages of Europe since 2014.

The Australian, always associated in Ulster with the decision to block a new contract for Ruan Pienaar, does however believe that with the right men in key positions, a revival will be quick.

"I think that this will turn itself around pretty quickly and I would be confident that we are not just putting a sticking plaster over a few things," he said. "You can see that we are serious this time about rebuilding with a number of changes that are taking place. If we are going to do it, we're going to do it properly and we need everyone to be a contributor.

"It was great that they managed to win that play-off game and maintain their place in Europe. I just think that when we get all of these things ironed out, it will definitely help. It won't be overnight. It's unrealistic to think that it will just turn around on a sixpence but as I said, if we are going to do it, we've got to do it properly. There is a major rebuild going on up there and we need to make sure that we get the right people doing the right jobs. If we do that, then the right talent will come through."

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