Scottish Rugby Union finally apologise to Siobhan Cattigan’s family as they admit not passing on details of her funeral to team-mates and failing to pay tribute to former Scotland international following her death in 2021

  • Scottish Rugby Union apologises to Cattigan’s family: ‘we let them down’
  • The Union have admitted failure to pass on details of her funeral to team-mates
  • Siobhan Cattigan passed away in 2020 but cause of death was unclear 

The Scottish Rugby Union have issued an apology to the family of Siobhan Cattigan after they admitted their failure to pass on her funeral details to her team-mates. 

The Union have admitted that they let the family down in certain aspects, including their failure to inform Siobhan’s team-mates of her funeral, and an inadequate tribute at Murrayfield. 

John McGuigan – the new Chair of Scottish Rugby – admitted in the AGM on Saturday, that they ‘did not intend to cause distress to the family through our actions it’s clear we should have managed this tragic situation better. 

Cattigan, who passed away at 26 in November 2021, died very suddenly with no cause of death given at the time. 

Since her death, questions have been raised surrounding the lack of protocols for rugby players when sustaining repetitive brain injuries.

During the AGM, McGuigan went on to say: ‘Siobhan was a hugely talented rugby player who played for Scotland, earning 19 caps. She was passionate about rugby being a committed ambassador for the sport, alongside her significant academic achievements and charity work. 

Questions have been raised about Scottish Rugby’s failure to support brain injuries sustained

Siobhan passed away suddenly in 2021, with no cause of death given at the time

Siobhan passed away suddenly in 2021, with no cause of death given at the time

‘I’m therefore very grateful to Mr and Mrs Cattigan and Ms Taylor for inviting me into their home and providing a deeply personal account of Siobhan’s time with Scottish Rugby. Having listened to the family I want on behalf of Scottish Rugby to say sorry.

‘We also take responsibility for Scottish Rugby’s handling of certain elements surrounding Siobhan’s funeral, including not relaying the family’s wishes to every player which meant some of Siobhan’s team-mates did not get the opportunity to attend her funeral. 

‘We also let the family down by not directly contacting the family nor visiting after Siobhan’s passing to offer our condolences. 

In the months after her death, her parents revealed in an interview with the Sunday Times that ‘rugby-related brain injuries’ had a detrimental affect on Siobhan’s mental health. 

They noted a change in Siobhan’s personality and claimed that: ‘It had got to the point where she could no longer live with the pain in her head and Siobhan succumbed to an irrational thought and impulsive action.

At the time, Scottish Rugby said that they ‘fully acknowledge the seriousness of what the family have shared’, but they did ‘not recognise or accept’ some of the claims made.

While the cause of death was unclear, Scottish Rugby said they would provide ‘support’ to those most affected. Police Scotland were not made aware of the rugby star’s death, as it was suggested it was non-suspicious.

Cattigan won 19 caps for her country, and represented Stirling, passed away suddenly, with rugby greats paying tribute to the ‘inspirational’ Scottish women’s star.