Dean Ryan has added Bob Stewart to his support team.
GLOUCESTER Rugby have backed up their extensive player recruitment ahead of the coming season with the appointment of Bob Stewart as Head of Medical Services.
The 33-year-old brings a wealth of experience to the club having been physiotherapist to the Scottish national team from 1999-2006, as well as to the British & Irish Lions on their tour to New Zealand in 2005.
He moves to Kingsholm from Guinness Premiership neighbours Worcester Warriors, where he has held the same post for one season.
"We've been extremely selective in our player recruitment to ensure that we only bring individuals of the highest quality to Gloucester Rugby, and that extends to our support staff too," said head coach Dean Ryan.
"Bob is one of the best physios in the game and we are very pleased to have him on board in one of the club's key positions.
"The unforgiving and relentless nature of club rugby, particularly in World Cup year, will stress even the biggest squads and the medical team are a critical factor in ensuring we are able to field our strongest possible XV every week."
Stewart added: "I obviously know [Gloucester coaches] Bryan Redpath and Carl Hogg very well from my time with the Scotland team, and I'm really looking forward to playing a part in what Gloucester are trying to achieve.
"Having spoken with Dean Ryan at length, I really associate with the elite and uncompromising environment he is driving at the club. If we can continue to provide the players with the best medical resources and support off the field, we can only enhance their chances off success on the field."
Stewart will oversee a medical team that includes senior physio Luke Anthony and new appointee Adam Brett, who joins Gloucester in his first full-time role in professional rugby after two seasons as Head Physio to National Division 2 side Henley Hawks.
In addition, following the retirement in June of Rob Mackay as club doctor after more than 10 years of service, Cheltenham-based GP Dr Chris Lamden will assume team doctor responsibilities, with Dr Rod Jaques - Director of Medical Services for the English Institute of Sport and sports injury specialist at Gloucester's Capio-Winfield Hospital - continuing to provide regular consultancy support.
Gloucester have been in good form in recent weeks, but Backs Coach Tim Taylor knows that the Cherry and Whites will have to be at their best on Thursday evening (kick off 7:45pm) against a Stade Rochelais side flying high this season.
Speaking to GRTV after the bonus point win over Bristol, back row Lewis Ludlow revealed that despite a tricky first half, Gloucester backed their skills to come through, a faith that was evident in a strong second half showing.
Willi Heinz scored Gloucester's second try as the Cherry and Whites overturned a disappointing first 40 minutes and 0-6 half time deficit, to earn a 26-18 Aviva Premiership victory over Bristol Rugby on Saturday.
It's the first Gloucester-Bristol derby at Kingsholm in over eight years this Saturday (kick off 4:30pm) and, previewing the game with the local media this week, Defence Coach Jonny Bell stressed that, with both teams in the bottom half of the table, they both need the points.
Speaking to the local media this week, Gloucester front rower John Afoa knows the challenge ahead this week against Bristol, and calls on the Cherry and Whites to make the most of home advantage as a determined squad look to bounce back from a narrow loss to Saracens.
Tom Savage speaks to GRTV and the local media as Gloucester went down by 24-20 at Saracens on Sunday afternoon. The second row was disappointed with the result, despite a strong showing from the hosts.
Gloucester's much changed side had to overcome conceding an early try on Thursday evening, but responded in style to down Stade Rochelais by 35 points to 14 in the European Rugby Challenge Cup and set up a mouthwatering return fixture next weekend.
After taking 11 points from their last three games in the Aviva Premiership, including bonus point wins against Wasps and Bristol, Gloucester will be looking to continue their good form when they welcome La Rochelle to Kingsholm.