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.
Previewing Friday evening's local derby at Bristol, Interim Head Coach Jonny Bell told the local media that Gloucester's preparations have gone well and that the whole squad is united in trying to finish the season on a high.
Speaking to GRTV this week, Acting Head Coach Jonny Bell spoke of his pleasure in the efforts and intensity in training from the squad after a tricky few weeks. The team were preparing for big games with Bristol and Cardiff in coming weeks.
Willi Heinz was understandably and visibly disappointed when he spoke to GRTV after the 27-30 home defeat to Harlequins, apologising to the home support as the game slipped away after seemingly having the game under control.
Speaking to the local media this week, Scottish centre Matt Scott spoke of the squad's determination to put in a big home performance against Harlequins, with vital points up for grabs in the hunt for a Top Six spot this Saturday (KO 3pm)
Looking ahead to Saturday's Aviva Premiership fixture at home to Harlequins (kick off 3pm), Head Coach Laurie Fisher told the local media that Gloucester will need to be on top of their game in a match which has big implications in terms of top six ambitions.
A big few days for the Gloucester-Hartpury Women side. First came the news that the team will compete in Women's Super Rugby next season, and on Saturday the team will play Worcester Ladies IIs at Kingsholm. Centre Hannah Jones and wing Michelle Ruddock spoke to GRTV this week to reflect on events.
Missing so many starters, and up against a team fighting for their Premiership existence, Gloucester did what had to be done at Ashton Gate on Friday evening battling their way to a 32-14 Aviva Premiership win over Bristol Rugby.