Solomons to stay with Edinburgh Rugby until 2017

Edinburgh Rugby head coach Alan Solomons has signed an extension to his contract, keeping him at the club until June 2017.

 

The capital club started the 2015/16 season strongly in the Guinness Pro12 with four consecutive wins and recently recorded back-to-back victories against French opposition in the European Challenge Cup.

Scottish Rugby Chief Executive Mark Dodson said: “Alan is successfully building on the improved performances achieved by Edinburgh Rugby last season, which saw them reach the European Challenge Cup Final and secure the 1872 Cup.

“The club has made a positive start to the new season and we wanted to ensure Alan was able to continue to develop the vision he started in 2013. We are therefore very pleased he has committed to Edinburgh through to 2017.”

Solomons set out to build a sustainable club through the medium of young indigenous and Scottish-qualified talent.

The green shoots of this vision are evident, as demonstrated during the course of last season when Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, Hamish Watson, Ben Toolis and Rory Sutherland established themselves in the Edinburgh team, with the first three gaining national recognition. Sam and Rory were joined by Dougie Fife and Damien Hoyland in being involved in either the summer series or RWC 2015.

This season has seen Damien Hoyland and Chris Dean become regulars in the Edinburgh team with 18-year-old Blair Kinghorn debuting against Zebre and Jamie Ritchie playing against Agen in the European Challenge Cup.

Alan Solomons said: “While we have made good progress over the past two seasons, we still have some way to go and I am pleased to be able to continue to build on what we have achieved.”

Notes to editors

The former director of rugby with the Southern Kings Alan Solomons arrived in Edinburgh in summer 2013.

Solomons was assistant coach during the Springboks' record run of 17 victories, coached 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 a three-year term at the helm in Ulster in 2001.

The Irishmen reached the knockout rounds of the Celtic League every year of his tenure, twice made the Celtic Cup final (lifting the trophy in 2003) and enjoyed a three-year unbeaten home record in the Heineken Cup.

He was employed as a high performance consultant for the IRB from 2007 to 2011 before taking Eastern Province to three successive Currie Cup division one finals (winning the Cup in 2010 and 2012) and lifting the IRB Nations Cup under the guise of shadow international side, the South Africa Kings.

Then came the role with the Southern Kings, which started with him coaching them in their inaugural match against the 2009 British & Irish Lions and concluded with him taking them into their debut Super Rugby season in 2013 (best ever debutant season). In August 2013 he took over the reins of Edinburgh from interim head coach, Stevie Scott, who has worked alongside him in the intervening two years.

Edinburgh Rugby currently sit in sixth place in the Guinness PRO12 and top their pool in the European Challenge Cup. The next home match, against London Irish at BT Murrayfield, is on Friday 18 December and kicks off at 7.30pm.
 
The first leg of this year's derby double-header against Glasgow Warriors, as Edinburgh seek to retain the 1872 Cup, takes place at BT Murrayfield on Sunday 27 December at 3.05pm. Tickets for all matches can be purchased online, over the phone (0131 346 5180) or from the Ticket Centre in Roseburn Street.