The former South Africa assistant coach, who has steered the Barbarians to wins over five top tier nations (England, Scotland, Wales, South Africa and New Zealand) and led clubs to silverware in both the northern and southern hemisphere, will check into Murrayfield on Friday 9 August to coach Edinburgh Rugby.
He will be joined by Stevie Scott, whose work as interim head coach has been rewarded with a full-time assistant (forwards) role.
Announcing his leaving the Southern Kings in Port Elizabeth today, Solomons said that he had fulfilled the brief given him by EP Rugby Union President Cheeky Watson, which was to prepare the union for entry into Super Rugby and to guide the team through their first year.
Referring to the competitive nature of the side Solomons said; “I like to think that we have been reasonably competitive this year.”
Praising Robbie Kempson for his work with the EP Rugby Academy Solomons said; “It gives me an immense amount of pride to say that 97% of the Academy players are local and that 65% of the players are players of colour. We have seen the ‘green shoots’ of the academy this year and seen Scott van Breda, Shakes Soyizwapi, Shane Gates, Reynier Bernardo all playing Super Rugby from an Academy that was launched in 2010 and only commenced operation since 2011.”
If you go back to what Cheeky Watson started with in November 2008 and [compare] that to how far we have come since then when we didn’t have, for example, a performance analysis department, we didn’t have a strength and conditioning department. If we look at that I feel that I have made a reasonable effort at accomplishing the brief that Cheeky gave me.”
“It [working in Port Elizabeth] has been very tough on my wife. Our home is in the United Kingdom and we have lived there for the last 10 years since I left South Africa in mid 2001. She has had to travel backwards and forwards over the last three years and that is a very important factor that has to be taken into account.”
“I think the time has come for me to move on. I would like nothing more than to finish here with us winning this game by more than 7 points and continue being in Super Rugby. I can’t begin to tell you how much that will mean to me.”
It has been an honour and a privilege to have been a part of this,” concluded Solomons
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