Former Ireland international Jeremy Davidson is to replace Steve Williams as forwards coach at Ulster, bringing to an end a two-year coaching stint with Castres Olympiques.

Davidson's playing career was prematurely ended by a knee injury that was exacerbated by an accident incurred on a fishing trip in 2003. He had returned to play for Ulster in 2001 after three years with Castres.

After his injury, he coached Dungannon from 2003 to 2007.

The 32-times capped second row first played for Ireland began in 1996 and was one of the stars of the series-winning Lions Tour to South Africa in 1997.

Ulster head coach Matt Williams said: 'Jeremy has already got some experience in coaching locally from his time as head coach at Dungannon and has gained considerable experience at Castres over the past two seasons.

'When the opportunity arose to bring him back to Belfast, it seemed like a natural fit in terms of what we're trying to achieve here by developing our own local coaches for the future benefit of both Ulster and Irish rugby.'

Head Coach Willams also thanked current forwards coach Steve Williams.

'On behalf of Ulster Rugby, I would personally like to thank Steve for his contribution to Ulster Rugby over the past two years. He will be remembered by players, staff and supporters alike for the way in which he stepped up in the aftermath of Mark McCall's departure in November 2007.

'Despite having been at the club for less than six months at that time, he handled match preparation and team affairs with a purpose and professionalism that highlights his coaching ability.