Scottish Rugby confirm appointments of key medical positions

Scottish Rugby confirm appointments of key medical positions

Scottish Rugby has today announced the appointment of two key medical roles within the organisation, following the retiral of Dr James Robson MBE.

Dr David Pugh has been appointed as Chief Medical Officer (CMO) and Dr Jonathan Hanson will take on the role of Team Doctor for the men’s national team. Both have been actively involved in supporting Scottish Rugby for close to 20 years through consultancy roles as well as regular Team Doctor positions at pro and representative team level.

Dr Pugh has been interim CMO following the retirement of Dr James Robson including through the earlier stages of the recruitment for the CMO role. Scottish Rugby previously announced an appointment to the CMO role, but the position was not able to be filled due to unforeseen circumstances. Dr Pugh had applied and also reached the final stage of the recruitment process. He will begin this role with immediate effect.

With a background in Sport and Exercise medicine, Dr Pugh also has worked in high performance sport for over 25 years and joins Scottish Rugby from British Curling, where he has been CMO for the last four years.

He has held on-field medical positions with Glasgow Warriors as Team Doctor for five years, Scotland Women at both Six Nations and the 2010 Rugby World Cup and Scotland U20. He has also covered multiple Commonwealth Games for Team Scotland.

In addition to his work within the Scottish Rugby national teams, Dr Pugh has supported Scottish Rugby as a medical advisor for over 20 years. He has also held roles as a tutor within Higher Education courses and for UK Anti-Doping.

Speaking on his appointment, Dr David Pugh said: “I am delighted to accept the role of Scottish Rugby’s Chief Medical Officer. It has been my sporting ambition for many years.

“I have been very fortunate to have worked with many major teams in Scotland during my career so far, but rugby has been my own sport since childhood, and it is great to be able to give something back to the game I love. 

“I look forward to the challenge of following the outstanding Dr James Robson and I am excited to continue his good work within the Chief Medical Officer element of his previous role.”

Dr Jonathan Hanson will start in the role of Scotland Men’s Team Doctor for the Summer Tour to North & South America in June. Dr Hanson is the current Team Doctor for Glasgow Warriors, having held that role for over seven years.

Dr Hanson is a Consultant Physician in Sports medicine and Emergency medicine with NHS Fife after training mostly in remote and rural medicine on Skye. 

His first Scottish Rugby involvement was with Glasgow U16 in 2004 and he worked with the men’s U20 and Scotland ‘A’ for many years since including two Junior World Championships. Jonathan previously took Scotland men overseas to South Africa when James Robson was on his last Lions tour in 2013 and he has been part of the matchday support team at Murrayfield since that time.

He was a Team Doctor for the England Football team for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia looking principally after head injury, as well as having been to three Olympic Games with Team GB. For the 2023 season, he worked in Formula 1 looking after drivers and pit crew at the races around the world.

In addition, he has also been Chair of the Scottish Government Concussion advisory group since 2016. He authored the Scrumcaps pitch side emergency care training course and the World Rugby First aid in Rugby course – a course that has trained over 15,000 medics.

Dr Hanson said: “I’m fortunate to have had a 20-year rugby medicine training programme under Dr James Robson through our age groups and professional teams.

“I’ve learned a lot about medicine in many other sports and I am looking to bring that experience to the Scotland men’s team for the next Rugby World Cup Cycle.”

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