4 Dec, 10:19
Grand Slam winners Fiona Coghlan and Nora Stapelton have returned the Women's RBS 6 Nations trophy to Chief Executive John Feehan at the Six Nations offices in Dublin.
In an interview published in the Cape Times Solomons, described as South Africa's foremost authority on Irish rugby expressed his opinions to journalist Dale Granger, who wrote
Solomons is also a former Springbok assistant coach under Nick Mallett. He coached Irish provincial team Ulster to victory in the Celtic Cup and has been signed by English club Northampton.
Solomons is back in Cape Town for a holiday and on Tuesday night he told an audience at the University of Cape Town Rugby Club that South Africa should not underestimate the Irish team. "A full-strength Ireland are a very good side," said Solomons, who returns to England in two weeks to prepare Northampton for the new season, which opens in September.
"But I think they will perform better in the second Test at Newlands than at high altitude in the first Test at Bloemfontein."
He said the Irish could prove vulnerable at tighthead prop where Munster's John Hayes was a player of "immense strength", but had been a latecomer to the game. Hayes started playing rugby only at the age of 18 and technically still had some developing to do.
Solomons also described young Irish lock sensation Paul O'Connell as a formidable presence in the Irish second row, but said the Springboks also had one of the best lineout jumpers in the world in Victor Matfield to counter the threat.
"Ireland have not played for some time and I think they could struggle at Bloemfontein. But the second one at Newlands will be difficult to call," he said.
The Boks play the Irish in the first Test at Bloemfontein on June 12th, followed a week later by the second at Newlands.