Scottish Rugby has confirmed today that Alan Solomons has decided to end his time as Edinburgh Rugby Head Coach, just 4 weeks into the season and following a dispiriting run of performances from the capital pro-team. It adds a little more woe at Murrayfield after Duncan Weir was confirmed to have a broken jaw that will keep him out over the next international period.
Current attack/backs coach Duncan Hodge will become acting Head Coach with Stevie Scott and Peter Wilkins staying in their current roles.
Scottish Rugby Chief Executive, Mark Dodson, said: “Alan came in as Head Coach at a difficult time in Edinburgh Rugby’s history and helped to stabilise and strengthen the club.
“He achieved some notable successes including leading the first Scottish team to a European Final of the Challenge Cup in 2015 and back to back 1872 Scottish Cup victories over Glasgow Warriors.
“Duncan brings his recent coaching experience from the Scotland national team as well as his long playing career with Edinburgh into the role and he will receive our full support to keep moving the club forward.”
The large caveat to that statement should probably be: “until we can find a replacement of the calibre of Dave Rennie”, which will be a much harder sell for a team without the growth, culture or international class of Glasgow. The stuttering performances of Edinburgh’s attacking line will need to change, and quickly, if Hodge is to mount a serious case for his retention longer term.
There are several bright points on Edinburgh’s horizon, notably the back-row depth and the presence of WP Nel for at least one more year as well as the groundshare at Myreside in the second half of the season. It’s a good fixer upper team for someone, but sadly most coaches round these parts have just begun seasons and contracts. Back to the southern hemisphere?
Alan Solomons said: “I have greatly enjoyed working with the players and coaches and feel I have helped to put the club on a much stronger footing over the past three years and am leaving it in a better place than when I arrived.”
In other news, Glasgow have confirmed the signing of 27-year-old USA international Langilangi Haupeakui on a 2 year deal, and it has also been confirmed that Vern Cotter will return to French rugby as coach of Montpellier after his time with Scotland ends.
Let the speculation on Edinburgh coaches begin! We’re unlikely to see such a quick resolution to this one as we did during the Townsend/Cotter switch as there wasn’t much notice, so you have time to draw breath and make really informed guesses…