Who remembers the old movie, King Solomon’s mines? Well, The Southern Kings, own Solomons… Alan Solomons, is off to dig for gold elsewhere. We’ve known about it, it has been denied, but still came to pass.
Kings Director of Rugby Alan Solomons will part ways with the Eastern Cape franchise after being appointed head coach of Edinburgh.
This means that this weekend’s Super Rugby promotion/relegation clash with the Lions at Ellis Park will be Solomons’ last match in charge of the Kings before he heads to Scotland to take up this new challenge.
The news will come as a major blow to the Kings, who face their biggest match of the year this weekend as they look to secure a second Super Rugby season.
Solomons is the second member of the coaching staff to part ways with the Kings after Kiwi backs and attack coach Brad Mooar returned to New Zealand recently for personal reasons.
The former Springbok 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, August 9.
He will be joined by Stevie Scott, whose work as interim head coach has been rewarded with a full-time assistant (forwards) role.
Edinburgh managing director, David Davies, said: “I’m delighted to confirm the appointment of such experienced, respected and passionate coaches.
“In addition to attracting the undeniable quality in Alan Solomons, I’m very pleased to retain the services of Stevie Scott, whose work on and off the field in pre-season has been exceptional.
“I’m confident they will provide the foundations for our long-term objective of becoming a force on the domestic and European stage,” he added.
Solomons was assistant coach during the Springbok’s record run of 17 victories, which included an unbeaten Tri Nations success in 1998 and record wins over Scotland (68-19), France (51-10) and Wales (96-13).
It was during this time that he coached the Western Province to successive Currie Cup finals (1997 and 1998), winning the trophy in 1997, and took the Stormers to the Super Rugby semifinal in 1999, before beginning an impressive three-year term at Ulster in 2001.
The Irishmen reached the knockout rounds of the Celtic League every year Solomons was at the helm, twice made the Celtic Cup final (lifting the trophy in 2003) and enjoyed a three-year unbeaten home record in the Heineken Cup, which lifted the club’s European ranking from 37th to 10th.
He was employed as a high performance consultant for the IRB from 2007 to 2011 before taking Eastern Province to three successive national 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.
He was then appointed Director of Rugby of the Southern Kings for their maiden Super Rugby season, charged with turning the amateur union into a Super Rugby side, before securing his move to Murrayfield.
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.”
Scottish Rugby Director of Rugby, Scott Johnson, said: “We have conducted a global search through scores of candidates who have shown a great deal of enthusiasm for helping us realise the potential in Edinburgh.
“This pair offer an excellent balance of experience, passion and success, as well as in-depth knowledge of the local and international rugby scenes, something which we are look forward seeing put to the test at Murrayfield.”