Scottish Rugby announce key medical role appointments

Dr David Pugh has been unveiled as new Chief Medical Officer (CMO) and Dr Jonathan Hanson as team doctor for the men’s national team

Dr David Pugh and Dr Jonathan Hanson
Dr David Pugh and Dr Jonathan Hanson

SCOTTISH RUGBY have appointed Dr David Pugh as Chief Medical Officer (CMO) and Dr Jonathan Hanson as team doctor for the men’s national team.  

Dr Pugh took over as interim CMO following the retirement of Dr James Robson at the end of the Six Nations, with Scottish Rugby initially appointed Dr Douglas Hammond as permanent successor in Mach, but that  offer of employment was withdrawn before his start date on 1st April due to “unforeseen circumstances”.

Dr Pugh  – who applied and reached the final stage of the original Scottish Rugby recruitment process  – has held on-field medical positions with Glasgow Warriors as team doctor for five years, with Scotland Women at both Six Nations and the 2010 Rugby World Cup, and with Scotland U20. He has also covered multiple Commonwealth Games for Team Scotland. He has been CMO for British Curling for the last four years.

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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.

“I am delighted to accept the role of Scottish Rugby’s Chief Medical Officer,” he said. “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 Hanson will start in the role of Scotland Men’s Team Doctor for the Summer Tour to North and South America in June, having been the team doctor for Glasgow Warriors for over seven years. He 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, including at two Junior World Championships. He was Scotland Men team doctor on the 2013 tour to South Africa when James Robson was away with the Lions in 2013 and he has been part of the match-day 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. He worked in Formula 1 during the 2022 season looking after drivers and pit crew at the races around the world.

He has also been Chair of the Scottish Government Concussion advisory group since 2016, authored the Scrumcaps pitch side emergency care training course and also authored the World Rugby First Aid in Rugby course.

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

“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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About David Barnes 3989 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including The Herald/Sunday Herald, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Daily Record, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.