Solomons to coach Kings against Lions

Former Ulster and Northampton Saints coach Alan Solomons will come head to head with the British and Irish Lions this summer.

Solomons, the IRB’s high performance consultant, will be head coach of the invitational Southern Kings when the Lions visit Port Elizabeth on 16 June.

“It’s a big honour to be asked to coach a team against the Lions,” he told the BBC.

“Port Elizabeth is where I went to school and it will be a pleasure in what is my home town franchise.” 

Solomons is open-minded about taking on the full-time role of Director of Rugby if the Southern Kings are included in an expanded Super Rugby tournament which would be the Super 15.

“It is something that I will be considering,” said Solomons, who was head coach at the Cape Town-based Stormers before moving to Northern Ireland in 2001.

“It is a case of wait and see what transpires. I have been busy with International Board work and will be travelling quite a lot until the end of the month.”

Solomons now resides in a County Down seaside village just outside Belfast.

He was previously assistant Springboks coach during Nick Mallett’s tenure, during which South Africa won a record-breaking 17 successive Test matches in 1998-99.

EPRU president Cheeky Watson said there was also a strong possibility that Solomon could be appointed as director of East Cape rugby and assist in an advisory capacity as to who would take up the post of senior coach during the Currie Cup season.

According to Watson, an agreement had been reached between him and current coach Chris Grobler on the termination of his services. Assistant coach Ronnie Korkie had also been relieved of his duties.

EPRU chief executive Anele Pamba also confirmed that the government had given full support to the launch of the Southern Kings Super Rugby  franchise on June 16.

“There will be a logo of either the East Cape Tourism department or Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism on the Southern Kings jersey on June 16,” Pamba told The Herald.

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