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Tyrone set to bring in former Ulster Rugby S&C coach in remarkable switch-up

Jonny Davis will replace the departed Peter Donnelly as the Red Hand’s resident expert.

Jonny Davis at an Ulster Rugby captain's run in 2017.
Jonny Davis at an Ulster Rugby captain's run in 2017.
Image: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

AFTER THE DEPARTURE of strength and conditioning coach Peter Donnelly to Ulster Rugby, Tyrone GAA have performed a remarkable switch and are set to name former Ulster Rugby strength and conditioning coach Jonny Davis as their new resident expert.

It’s understood that the finer details are now well on the way to being ironed out and Davis will be in charge by the time pre-season starts for Mickey Harte’s men in the 2020 season.

Davis worked for several years heading up the S&C department at Ulster Rugby and is known for his intense approach and immense popularity among the players.

Such news will offset the disappointment Tyrone players will have felt in recent weeks over Donnelly’s departure, given the regard he was held in.

Donnelly was understood to be keen to stay on with the Tyrone senior team on a part-time basis, but this was not facilitated. Instead, he will now hook up with Seamus McEnaney in 2020 as part of a new-look Monaghan management, something that will cause considerable anguish among the Tyrone squad who had formed close ties with Donnelly since he started working with them in 2015.

Tyrone have been rocked by a couple of managerial departures since their defeat to Kerry in the All-Ireland semi-final, with 2005 Footballer of the Year Stephen O’Neill joining Donnelly through the exit door, having worked as an attacking coach for the last season.

Davis has already met with Tyrone representatives, including a group of players a number of times and has visited their facilities.

He was a promising player with Ulster with serious pace, until injuries derailed him. He parted ways with the Ulster Rugby set up in June 2018.  

If he needs any guidance on the nuances of Gaelic football he will not have to look far as his sister Julie has been involved since 2002 when she came in to help out with the Armagh team that later went on to win the All-Ireland that year.

She also worked with the Cavan footballers for a spell, was with Kildare for a lengthy period from 2008, and is currently the High-Performance Manager with Armagh GAA.

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Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

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Declan Bogue

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