Scottish Daily Mail



DUNCAN HODGE took charge of Edinburgh after head coach Alan Solomons was sacked yesterday — and has been given until the end of the season to prove he deserves the job full-time. Sportsmail understand­s the former Scotland and Edinburgh stand-off will be expected to lead the team to a top-six finish in the Guinness Pro12, thereby qualifying for the European Champions Cup, if he is to have any chance of landing the position permanentl­y. South African Solomons was removed just four matches into the current campaign, with the team languishin­g in ninth place after one solitary victory to their name. Edinburgh have finished in the bottom half of the table under his stewardshi­p for three years in a row and, following a poor start to the current season, SRU chief executive Mark Dodson decided that enough was enough. Former Edinburgh star Hodge, 42, may have to hit the ground running as there are likely to be a number of high-profile candidate ready to throw their hats into the ring come the end of the season. South African World Cup-winning coach Jake White will be among those available after he leaves Montpellie­r, with the French club yesterday confirming Sportsmail’s exclusive story that Scotland head coach Vern Cotter is to replace him next June. Solomons claimed yesterday it was his decision to step down but Sportsmail understand­s the SRU hierarchy had lost patience after his failure to deliver over the past three years. His time in charge has been seen as a major disappoint­ment considerin­g the 66-year-old’s impressive CV which included a spell as assistant head coach of South Africa. Dodson said: ‘Alan came in as head coach at a difficult time in Edinburgh’s history and helped to stabilise and strengthen the club. ‘He achieved some notable successes including leading the first Scottish team to a European final of the Challenge Cup in 2015 and backto-back 1872 Scottish Cup victories over Glasgow Warriors. ‘Duncan brings his recent coaching experience from the Scotland national team as well as his long playing career with Edinburgh into the role and he will receive our full support to keep moving the club forward.’ In a short statement released yesterday, Solomons said: ‘I have decided to step down. ‘I understand Scottish Rugby have appointed Duncan Hodge as the new acting head coach and I wish him well. ‘I have greatly enjoyed working with the players and coaches and feel I have helped to put the club on a much stronger footing over the past three years and am leaving it in a better place than when I arrived.’

 ??  ?? In at the top: Hodge
In at the top: Hodge

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom