3 things on Alan Solomons’ Edinburgh to-do-list

Over two years on from his hire, there are still some goals for Solomons to accomplish at Edinburgh. Picture: Jane Barlow
Over two years on from his hire, there are still some goals for Solomons to accomplish at Edinburgh. Picture: Jane Barlow
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The coach has made improvements to Edinburgh in his time in charge, but the job is not yet complete

1. Secure futures of top talent

With an incredible 32 players from the current 45-man squad out of contract at the end of the season - including Scotland stars like WP Nel, Ross Ford, Al Dickinson, Grant Gilchrist and Sam Hidalgo-Clyne - getting as many as possible and can be afforded tied down in the new year will be a priority. This will be more a job for the club’s new managing director Jonny Petrie and the powers-that-be in the SRU but, now his future has been clarified, Solomons will have input to make.

2. Get back into Champions Cup

As fun as the run to the Challenge Cup final was last season, and while Edinburgh have won both their games in it so far this season, it is not where the club want to be. Solomons and his players have made no secret of the fact that securing at least a top-six finish in the Pro12 this season and returning to the elite Champions Cup is an absolute priority this season following back-to-back disappointing eighth-place finishes.

3. Cultivate an entertaining homegrown squad

Solomons has come under fire in some quarters for packing his squad with southern hemisphere imports and for playing a less than attractive brand of rugby at times. While there was a need to patch up a depleted squad and stop the rot of bad results in the first season and a bit, the time seems right to reward the hardy Edinburgh faithful with a bit more entertainment by a more Scottish-flavoured team.

The coach can point to a plethora of young Scots who are now established or starting to break through into the starting team, including the likes of Hidalgo-Clyne, Hamish Watson, Chris Dean, Damien Hoyland, Blair Kinghorn and Rory Sutherland, with a few more in the pipeline.