IRFU Provide Update On Outhalf Situation At Ulster Rugby

Jason Hennessy

Jason Hennessy

Jason is the editor here at RugbyLAD and a proud Limerick man.
Jason Hennessy

Working on it.

Performance director David Nucifora says the IRFU are still working on solving Ulster’s current crisis at outhalf following the decision to revoke Paddy Jackson’s contract earlier this year.

The northern province are desperately seeking a ten to work alongside Johnny McPhillips next season, having lost out on Joey Carbery to Munster. The northern province had hoped to bring in Springbok Elton Jantjies, but Nucifora says that deal ‘didn’t make any sense’.

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Nucifora says he is still confident the IRFU can get an Irish-qualified ten for Ulster, but says they will consider a foreign option if they have to. The Jantjies deal was blocked because they believe he will be away a lot on international duty, not because he was foreign.

“Our first option is always to find an Irish solution whatever possible because we need to make sure the system is strong with Irish options,” said Nucifora.

“The Elton Jantjies thing that was brought up, it didn’t make any sense because we want to try and find an Irish solution. Yes, we hoped that Joey [Carbery] might take up that opportunity.

“It didn’t pan out that way because that was the player [Carbery]‘s choice but was Jantjies the right option? For example, he’s going to be playing in the World Cup no doubt, he’s going to be away for large chunks of time.

“South Africa, we knew, were recalling their players. At least we’ve got a better line of communication now with the South African coach [Rassie Erasmus]. We are aware of a few things, so that didn’t really make any sense.

“Going forward for them, we still hope that there is an Irish option for them that we are working on but would we consider a foreigner to help them if we had to?

“Yeah, we would, if it made sense, absolutely. But our preference would be to find a good Irish alternative if we can do that.”

Nucifora was also quizzed about the Irish option they are exploring, and if he was presently at Munster, to which he said “not necessarily, no”, before confirming he was not at any of the three provinces.

He also said Bristol outhalf Ian Madigan was not an option as he is ‘too expensive.’