Former Springboks assistant Alan Solomons was today confirmed as the new head coach charged with rousing the sleeping giant that is Edinburgh Rugby.
The 63-year-old South African will start the task of re-building a team which fell badly from grace last season on August 9 assisted by Stevie Scott, the former Edinburgh and Scotland hooker whose interim role has been made permanent.
As well as helping the Springboks through an unbeaten Tri Nations series in 1998 which was part of a 17 match run of success Solomons piloted Ulster to a Celtic Cup Final win (at Edinburgh’s expense) in 2003 while helping ensure the province’s Ravenhill home proved a fortess at European level from 2001-04.
During this period Ulster’s ranking rose from 27th to 10th in Europe.
Other achievements include coaching Western Province to successive Currie Cup Premier division finals in 1997 and 1998 taking the cape-Town based Stormers franchise to the Super 12 semi-final in 1999.
Most recently he has been director of rugby at the Port Elizabeth-based Southern Kings franchise who have just completed their first season in Super 15 rugby.
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.”
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.”