Alan Solomons believes he will be pitting his wits against a future Scotland head coach when his Edinburgh side host Glasgow on Sunday.
The South African has only the highest respect for Warriors boss Gregor Townsend after he masterminded last year’s Guinness Pro12 triumph.
He’s a really good coach and I think that’s being recognised now.Alan Solomons
And he believes his Scotstoun counterpart has all the skills required to transfer his success on the club stage to the international scene.
Speaking before Edinburgh host Townsend’s team at Murrayfield for the first leg of the 1872 Cup, Solomons said: “One advantage that Gregor has is that he has played in various parts of the world. He played in France, he played in England and he played in South Africa, so he even has a Southern Hemisphere influence.
“He was an excellent player and that has helped him too. He’s an intelligent bloke.
“He’s a really good coach and I think that’s being recognised now.
“He certainly has the ability to coach Scotland and those decisions will be made by the SRU but he certainly has the ability to one day take on that job.”
Leading the Dark Blues will have to wait, however, with Sunday’s battle in Edinburgh top of Townsend’s immediate priorities.
Edinburgh claimed the trophy last year with a 26-24 aggregate win but Glasgow - who had enjoyed a five-year stint of dominance before last year’s surprise defeat - are determined to wrestle it back.
Townsend says he may have to spice up his game plan in an effort to break through Edinburgh’s defence - the meanest in the Pro12 - but Solomons believes the match will not be defined by the coaches’ tactical tinkering.
“I’ve never looked at it like that,” said Solomons ahead of the fixtures, which also have league points at stake.
“It’s not about the coaches. I haven’t paid too much attention to what Gregor’s said. He’s a good bloke and an excellent coach and I’m sure his side will be well prepared.
“But I have no doubt the match will come down to what the players do and not the coaches.”