Edinburgh last night appointed Alan Solomons as their new head coach with little more than a month left before their first RaboDirect PRO12 fixture of the new season.

The veteran South African coach, who celebrates his 63rd birthday today, had been widely tipped for some time to get the job but sealing the deal seems to have been a drawn out process and he will not arrive at Murrayfield until the end of next week.

More than five months have elapsed since the Scottish Rugby Union announced that they would not be renewing the contract of Michael Bradley, the Irishman who steered Edinburgh to what was the first appearance by a Scottish side in a Heineken Cup semi-final in his first season in 2011/12 but saw them struggle throughout his second campaign.

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Solomons becomes Edinburgh's ninth head coach since the departure of Frank Hadden in 2005.

The new regime will comprise an intriguing combination of experience and youth since the forwards coach will be Steve Scott, the club's former hooker, who took charge on an interim basis for the final five matches of the season during which their fortunes improved earning him this reward of a permanent post.

That, along with last week's announcement that Kenny Murray, Ayr's silverware-laden head coach, had been appointed as an assistant coach at Glasgow Warriors, will help answer criticism of the lack of opportunities being offered to homegrown coaching talent and Murrayfield's hierarchy claimed to be highly satisfied with the fruits of their labours.

"We have conducted a global search through scores of candidates who have shown a great deal of enthusiasm for helping us realise the potential in Edinburgh Rugby," said Scott Johnson, the SRU's director of rugby.

"This pair offer an excellent balance of experience, passion and success, as well as in-depth knowledge of the local and international rugby scenes, something which we are look forward seeing put to the test at Murrayfield."

David Davies, Edinburgh's managing director, who has himself been in post for only a couple of months, added:

"In addition to attracting the undeniable quality in Alan Solomons, I'm very pleased to retain the services of Stevie Scott, whose work on and off the field in pre-season has been exceptional," he said.

"I'm confident they will provide the foundations for

our long-term objective of becoming a force on the domestic and European stage."