Edinburgh Rugby today announced the appointment of new head coach Alan Solomons who will be joined in the Edinburgh coaching setup by Stevie Scott, whose work as interim head coach has been rewarded with a full-time assistant (forwards) role.
The former South Africa assistant coach, who has steered the Barbarians to wins over five top tier nations (England, Scotland, Wales, South Africa and New Zealand) and led clubs to silverware in both the northern and southern hemisphere, will check into Murrayfield on Friday 9 August.
Solomons was assistant coach during the Springbok’s record run of 17 victories, which included an unbeaten Tri Nations success in 1998 and record wins over Scotland (68-19), France (51-10) and Wales (96-13).
It was during this time that he coached the Western Province to successive Currie Cup Premier division finals (1997 and 1998), winning the trophy in 1997, and took the Stormers to the Super 12 semi-final in 1999, before beginning an impressive three-year term at Ulster in 2001.
The Irishmen reached the knockout rounds of the Celtic League every year Solomons was at the helm, twice made the Celtic Cup final (lifting the trophy in 2003) and enjoyed a three-year unbeaten home record in the Heineken Cup, which lifted the club’s European ranking from 37th to 10th.
More recently he was appointed director rugby of the Southern Kings for their maiden Super Rugby season, charged with turning the amateur union into a Super Rugby side, before securing his move to Murrayfield.
Solomons said: “This is a very exciting role at a club which has a huge amount of potential.
“The ambition and desire of everyone involved with the club to do whatever it takes to build its success, and the plans being put in place to achieve that, are very impressive.
“I’m very much looking forward to arriving in Edinburgh, teaming up with Stevie [Scott] and meeting the challenges head on.”
Forwards coach, Stevie Scott, added: “I’m delighted to extend my term with the Edinburgh Rugby, a team which I have a long association with and a huge amount of passion for.
“I’m looking forward to building on the work done since the tail end of last season with a highly experienced coach.
“We’ll put everything into getting this club back into a position we can all be proud of.”
The move puts to bed months of speculation, with Solomons name long on the grapevine and Edinburgh fans growing ever more exasperated at the lack of, well, any sort of news since last season. Down the M8 Glasgow continue to announce signings and appointments (and cross-code training) that continue to make them look like the forward thinking, sensible ones. Hopefully this goes some way to redress the balance, but even a man of Solomon’s experience has some job ahead of him to sort the wheat from the chaff and mould them back into the squad that made the Heineken Cup semi final.
It seems so long ago.