It came as no surprise yesterday that Jeremy Davidson confirmed he was returning to France to continue his coaching career after his departure from Ulster at the end of the season.
The News Letter can reveal he has agreed a two year deal as head coach of French Division Two side, Stade Aurillacious.
Rumours and speculation over the last three months that the Ulster forwards coach was moving on were half confirmed by the former British Lion at the weekend on Facebook when he posted ‘A new start!! Au Revoir’ – which was a reasonably good clue as to where he was heading – in spite of recent claims of moving to English Championship side, Moseley.
Ulster Rugby confirmed on their website on Tuesday that Davidson was leaving with director of rugby operations, David Humphreys, wishing his former team-mate all the best for the future and thanking him for his contribution to the club during the past two years.
Yesterday, Davidson, through PR company, ljkcommunications, confirmed he was moving back to France.
Davidson has played and coached there previously before returning as forwards coach to Ulster.
The 37 year old, former Irish International, will replace Pierre Henry Broncan as head coach of the second-division team and will work alongside backs coach, Thierry Peuchlestrade.
Commenting on the appointment Jeremy said:
“I am very excited about this appointment.
“And see it as a great opportunity to further my career as a head coach.
“There is a lot of hard work ahead of us but, despite several departures from the squad, I am confident that the new playing staff will progress together to form a competitive team in the pro 2 league.
“I would like to thank Ulster Rugby for their support during this time.”
Davidson, born in Belfast, he played rugby with Dungannon, London Irish, Ulster and Castres Olympique.
A top class Irish lock, he was selected for two British Lions sides which toured South Africa in 1997 and Australia in 2001.
And he was voted players’ player of the tour to South Africa.
Being forced to retire from the game in 2003 due to injury, Davidson began his coaching career with Dungannon.
He then moved to Castres where he was joined by former Ulster head coach Mark McCall.
McCall is now the director of rugby with English Premiership finalists, Saracens.
In respect of the now vacant forwards coach, Ulster Rugby would make no further comment yesterday on whether they were looking for a replacement.
Former All Black and Ulster prop, Matt Sexton, had already been linked for some time now as moving to the Province as a specialist forwards coach.