WORCESTER Warriors have appointed Alan Solomons has the club’s new director of rugby on a two and a half year deal.
The 67-year-old arrived at Sixways in October to assist outgoing chief Gary Gold and will assume control of the Aviva Premiership side when Gold leaves at the end of this month.
Solomons has helped Warriors experience an upturn in fortunes as they have racked up 38 tries in 11 matches and claimed back-to-back Aviva Premiership victories against Northampton Saints and Leicester Tigers last month, and a win over London Irish on Friday night.
The South African has amassed a wealth of coaching experience since moving into rugby 20 years ago as Head Coach of Western Province and the Stormers following a successful career in law.
In the early days of his coaching career, Solomons was an integral part of the South Africa coaching set-up as his home country equalled New Zealand’s record-breaking 17 consecutive Test wins before finishing third at the 1999 Rugby World Cup.
During three years at Ulster, Solomons led the Irishmen to the knockout rounds of the Celtic League every year, lifting the trophy in 2003. Under Solomons, Ulster remained unbeaten at home in the Heineken Cup for three years.
Solomons became High Performance Consultant for the IRB in 2007 before taking Eastern Province to three successive Currie Cup division one finals, lifting the trophy in 2010 and 2012.
After a short spell with Southern Kings, Solomons was appointed Head Coach at Edinburgh Rugby, where he led the club to the European Challenge Cup final in 2015.
After leaving Edinburgh he worked at Bristol Rugby as a consultant before moving to Sixways. Solomons has also coached Northampton Saints and the Barbarians.
“I have enjoyed my time at Warriors since day one and it has become clear that the club has masses of potential to be successful in the long-term,” he said.
“I am hugely excited about being given the opportunity to lead this club and I am looking forward to continuing the hard work to ensure we can build for the future, move up the Premiership table and give the supporters the success they deserve.”
Gold thanked Sixways chiefs for the prompt appointment and for allowing him to end his contract early to take up his new role with the USA team in January.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Sixways. I feel the club has taken steps forward over the last year and has the foundations to ultimately be successful. I wish all the players and staff the best of luck in the future.”
Warriors Chairman Bill Bolsover said: “We are delighted that we have managed to secure Alan on a long-term contract.
“Since he arrived at the Club, Alan has been a key influence behind the scenes and has quickly earnt the respect of staff and players, who have all spoken very highly of him.
“This has been illustrated by the commitment of the players and the fact we have seen a marked improvement in the team’s performances.
“Our search for a new Director of Rugby was extensive and we interviewed a number of high quality candidates, but Alan stood out as someone who could bring stability to the club and take us forward.
“We thank Gary Gold for his hard work and efforts during his year at Sixways and wish him the best of luck with his role at the USA.”