Family of Scottish rugby forward Siobhan Cattigan, who died after suffering two concussions, say they need ‘answers’ from SRU

  • The back rower died in November 2021 due to undetected rugby-related brain damage
  • The new chairman of SRU has since said that they should have managed the situation better
  • The governing body was criticized for not conducting an independent investigation

The family of former Scottish rugby player Siobhan Cattigan say they need answers before they can “begin to grieve” her death.

The 26-year-old back rower died in November 2021 after undetected rugby-related brain damage caused a significant decline in her health, her family claims.

Cattigan, who played 19 times for her country, suffered two concussions while on international duty and her family say she did not receive the necessary help from the Scottish Rugby Union due to brain injuries.

They have also criticized the governing body for failing to conduct an independent investigation into the circumstances leading to her death.

Now they have said in a family statement: ‘There are people within Scottish Rugby who would like to answer questions about the treatment, or lack thereof, towards Siobhan.

The Scottish back rower played 19 times for her country before passing away in November 2021

Now her family say they need answers from the Scottish Rugby Union about her death

‘Mr [John] McGuigan [the SRU’s new chairman] contacted us a few months ago to say that, as far as his capabilities allowed, he wanted to correct the mistakes.

“We are extremely grateful that he acted with integrity, humanity and decency and contacted us from an organization that had previously disgracefully treated our family and, most importantly, Siobhan’s memory with unkind comments and disrespectful actions from senior managers.

‘Thank you to everyone who has supported our broken hearts and kept the memory of our beautiful little girl alive, we have a long road ahead.’

Speaking at Scottish Rugby’s annual meeting on Saturday, McGuigan said this ‘tragic situation’ should have been better managed by the organisation.

“After listening to the family, I would like to say sorry on behalf of Scottish Rugby,” he said.

‘While it was not Scottish Rugby’s intention to cause the family to suffer through our actions, it is clear that we should have handled this tragic situation better.’

Cattigan played for Stirling County from 2014 to 2021, having also attended university there.