Edinburgh: Alan Solomons signs new contract as head coach

Edinburgh coach Alan Solomons
Alan Solomons took charge of Edinburgh in 2013

Edinburgh head coach Alan Solomons has signed a 12-month extension to his contract, keeping the South African at the Pro12 club until June 2016.

The 64-year-old's side have failed to achieve their target of a top-six finish, sitting eighth in the table.

But Edinburgh became the first Scottish team to reach a European cup final, losing to Gloucester.

Scottish Rugby chief Mark Dodson praised Solomons' "contribution" to that - and an improved league position.

"From the outset, we set him the task of rebuilding the club, with Scottish players at its core, and to develop young talent," he said.

"This is now generating the results we hoped for and I am delighted he will continue his progress at Edinburgh Rugby."

Solomons previously coached Western Province, Stormers, Ulster, Barbarians and Eastern Province Kings, where he was director of rugby before joining Edinburgh in 2013.

He received some criticism for the number of foreign nationals Edinburgh have signed, but the SRU stresses his vision has been to help young Scottish-qualified talent develop as part of a strong squad.

Edinburgh scrum-half Sam Hidalgo-Clyne
Edinburgh scrum-half Sam Hidalgo-Clyne has broken into the Scotland squad

It points to the progression of scrum-half Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, flanker Hamish Watson and Australian-born lock Ben Toolis to the Scotland squad this season.

Solomons said: "It's been very pleasing to see how players like Sam and Hamish - young Scottish talents - have developed over this season as our overall team performance has improved."

Edinburgh lost 19-13 to Gloucester in the second-tier European Challenge Cup, and could still qualify for a play-off against the same side to reach next season's premier European competition.

"We set ourselves the target, at the start of the season, of being in the top six in the league this year and, although this is no longer possible, we are still challenging for a play-off spot for the European Champions Cup," he said.

"Reaching the final of the European Challenge Cup and winning the 1872 Cup against Glasgow Warriors have been equally pleasing and that's testament to the hard work of the players as well as the commitment of all our backroom staff."

Solomons thinks his side would have had a better season had they not been hit by a long list of injuries.

"The challenges we've faced as a squad this year have been enormous - the injury count in the home game against Lyon being a case in point," he added.

"But, on each occasion, we have risen to the challenge.

"I feel we're moving into the next phase of our development as a squad and that's really exciting."

Top Stories