Jeremy Davidson was voted Lion of Lions on the successful 1997 tour of South Africa.
The abrasive second row started all three test beside captain Martin Johnston and his huge tackling and work rate earned him the man of the series award and Davidson is a huge admired of Ulster lock Iain Henderson as he takes the world cup by storm.
“He’s playing particularly well and he is bringing real physical edge, he can carry the ball, he makes big abrasive tackles driving the opposition back, I’ve been really amazed by his physicality for such a young man and I think he is going to keep getting better as an Irish player.” said Davidson.
He’s nailed down the position as the main second row beside Paul O’Connell for the rest of the world cup, credit to the Ulster set up for bringing him through and turning him into the great rugby player he is now.”
Davidson is coaching Stade Aurillac in the French Rugby Pro D2 and he is guided them to the top of the table although admits its early days in the campaign.
“We’re top of the league and that is always nice, we’ve only played four game and we’re on a break for the world cup but there is a long road to go, it’s good for confidence to get a good start to the season and hopefully we can keep building on that.”
“There is good rugby in France and a lot of opportunity 14 teams in the top and 16 in the second division and another three divisions underneath that where there are semi-professional players so there are a lot of players to choose from and a lot of opportunities for players and coaches, it’s a good environment to work in, the rugby is very physical and competitive, it’s a good experience to go there and coach.”
“It is a very competitive leaguer and even the second division is very competition so when you see the likes of Biarritz or Bayonne clubs who ae very historical strong in France playing in the second division you know what the level of rugby is.”
Stade Aurillac have won their first four games and secured three bonus points.
“We’re at the top of the league we played in the semi final two years ago and hopefully we can take that a bit further it’s difficult because we have one of the smallest budgets in the league so we’re punching above our weight at the minute.”
“With the squad sometimes you get a bit limited with injuries maybe we don’t have the strength of depth as other teams but hopefully we won’t get too many injures and we can keep playing at the same level as how we have started the season.”
Davidson is enjoying life in France and has signed a new contract extension.
“It is a great environment to coach in you’re learning every week, whenever you’re a coach you want to improve every day and learn while you’re plying your trade, this is my fifth year at Aurillac and I have signed a long term contract there so hopefully I’ll keep building and you never know what will happen.”