Regarded as an abrasive individual, the Hawke's Bay Magpies captain is the third back-row forward imported by Edinburgh from overseas in the last seven days, following the arrivals at Murrayfield of 26-year-old Argentina internationalist Tomas Leonardi on a three-month contract as well as 22-year-old South African Cornell du Preez.
Both du Preez and Leonardi are well known to Alan Solomons, since Edinburgh's new head coach previously worked with both at the Southern Kings in Super Rugby.
However, having only arrived at the club a couple of weeks ahead of the season, Solomons is now trying to make up for lost time in seeking to assemble a competitive squad and he admitted yesterday to having had to rely on video evidence and the advice of others when it comes to Coman. "From speaking to people in New Zealand and seeing footage of Mike in action, I believe this is a very good signing for Edinburgh Rugby," said Solomons. "He has very good leadership skills, is a very solid No.8, and has all the requisite skills for that position. I have no doubt that he will add value to this team as we continue to build a solid foundation and a brighter future for this club."
Coman will not arrive until mid to late October when his club's ITM Cup campaign is over, but the 6ft 4in and 17 stone former New Zealand under-19 internationalist will be required to bring extra physicality to a squad that needs to do some heavy lifting, bottom as they are of the league table.
He also boasts considerable experience, having first played provincial rugby for Canterbury before joining Hawke's Bay and the Hurricanes training squad, before leading the Magpies to the ITM Premiership in 2011 and captaining the Super Rugby franchise. "I've had some great experiences with Hawke's Bay, in particular winning the Ranfurly Shield, but the time feels right to move on and try a new challenge," said Coman.
"I still have a job to do with the Magpies but I'm really excited about what lies ahead in Edinburgh."
n Edinburgh hooker Aleki Lutui has been banned for two weeks for foul play. The Tongan's dangerous tackle on flanker Tom Smith during the defeat by Ospreys at the Liberty Stadium on Friday went unpunished but the RaboDirect PRO 12 disciplinary committee in Dublin were satisfied the challenge was "reckless rather than intentional."