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.
Speaking to the local media this week, John Afoa described the hard work that the Cherry and White have been putting in and that he is fighting fit ready for Saturday's European Rugby Challenge Cup semi final clash with Exeter Chiefs.
Gloucester Rugby face Exeter Chiefs this Saturday in the European Rugby Challenge Cup semi-final, and Charlie Sharples, who starts at full back is relishing the challenge of the big Kingsholm occasion.
Gloucester meet the Exeter Chiefs for the fourth time in competitive action this weekend, this time in the semi-final of the European Rugby Challenge Cup. Director of Rugby David Humphreys told the local media this week that this is the sort of game that Gloucester want to be involved in on a regular basis and that he and his team are looking forward to it.
Following the 29-26 loss to Harlequins, club captain Billy Twelvetrees spoke of his disappointment that the Cherry and Whites were unable to cash in on the home side's indiscipline and lose a lead on Saturday afternoon.
Number eight Gareth Evans admitted to a collective feeling of frustration as Gloucester lost narrowly at Harlequins on Saturday, but insisted that there are plenty of positives to draw upon ahead of next Saturday's European Rugby Challenge Cup semi-final at home to Exeter.
Gloucester travel to the Stoop on Saturday afternoon to take on Harlequins in the Aviva Premiership. The Cherry and Whites make just two changes from last weekend's win over Connacht as they seek consistency and continuity in their play as Nick Walshe told the local media this week.
The Gloucester Rugby Ticket office can advise that the club's initial allocation of tickets for the European Rugby Challenge Cup Final has sold out. However, the club has secured an additional allocation of tickets from EPCR which will go on sale on Monday.
Following Saturday evening's exciting European Rugby Challenge Cup semi-final victory over Exeter Chiefs, the Ticket Office at Kingsholm will be open on Sunday from 11am to 3pm for Club Members to purchase tickets for the Final.
Gloucester Rugby qualified for their first European final since 2006 as they defeated the in-form Exeter Chiefs by 30 points to 19 in a thrilling semi-final at Kingsholm on Saturday evening. The club photographer caught the best of the action.
Recent meetings between these two teams have often been thrillers, and this was no exception. It went down to the final few minutes, but Gloucester produced the goods when it mattered to qualify for the European Rugby Challenge Cup Final, beating Exeter 30-19.