With the door closed on the Alan Solomons era, and Duncan Hodge installed as the club’s interim head coach, what positives can be taken from the South African’s time at the helm?
The first would be the enhanced reputation of the club’s forward pack – with the trio of Dickinson, Ford and Nel regarded as one of the finest front row trios in the land. Backing them up, Solomons promoted Rory Sutherland through the ranks, taking over from Wicus Blaauw as Dickinson’s deputy for both club and then country in the process.
Stuart McInally’s transition from barnstorming back-row to combative hooker has been equally as successful, and Rambo’s stock is such he is co-captain of the Capital outfit for this season.
He is pushing Ross Ford hard for the number two jersey, and credit must be given to Solomons and Stevie Scott for their part in McInally’s transformation.
Another Scotland cap, Hamish Watson, has equally turned into a fine performer on the openside, while Cornell Du Preez – Solomons’ best signing for Edinburgh – has been a revelation and should make his Scotland debut next month.
Despite losing Denton, Coman and Grant last year, the Edinburgh back-row is still a formidable one, thanks in no small part to the efforts of Jamie Ritchie and Magnus Bradbury, particularly in the early weeks of this season – the youngsters have been magnificent.
Behind the pack it has also been a story of big-name departures, but with far fewer positives to fill the void.
Tom Brown has successfully taken over from Tim Visser on the left flank, but with less try scoring panache then the now-Harlequins winger.
Filling the boots of Matt Scott has been harder for Solomons and Hodge this season though, with Junior Rasolea, Michael Allen and Chris Dean all giving it a go; the latter is the best prospect of the three.
There have been success stories, though – the introduction of Damien Hoyland, who has gone on to win international honours at both 7s and 15s, while Blair Kinghorn looks a star in the making.
Solomons’ biggest success in the three-quarters was the rapid rise of Sam Hidalgo-Clyne.
A “very talented kid” when the South African took over, the former Merchiston man took on the number nine shirt when Greig Laidlaw left for Gloucester and never looked back – another to win full Test honours.
Solomons may have departed, but he has left the capital club with the likes of Sutherland, Bradbury, Watson, Hidalgo-Clyne and Kinghorn to pin its future on.
There have, of course, been failures – the hoards of players imported from the Southern Hemisphere and elsewhere will forever be Solomons’ legacy at Edinburgh (Andries Strauss anyone), as will the kick-and-chase style of rugby he employed.
Finding a way to make the back line move like their Glasgow counterparts, while retaining the grit of the pack, could be the key to turning Edinburgh Rugby into a success story.