Rugby League


14 Feb 2024

RFL appoint Dr Dane Vishnubala to key medical role

RFL appoint Dr Dane Vishnubala to key medical role

The Rugby Football League have appointed Dr Dane Vishnubala as the sport’s new Chief Medical Officer. 

Dr Vishnubala succeeds Professor Chris Brookes, who stood down at the end of 2023 after 16 years in the role, and he will start work on March 1.

Dane is a Consultant Physician (specialist doctor) in Sport and Exercise Medicine (SEM) with the military, an academic doctor at the University of Leeds and a visiting Professor in Sport and Exercise Medicine at the University of Derby. 

He has a broad range of clinical and leadership experience in sport, both at club and international level. He has worked for the Football Association, the Football Association of Wales, the Lawn Tennis Association, GB Basketball and UK Athletics among other sports and clubs, and has nearly eight years of Chief Medical Officer experience through roles for awarding organisation Active IQ, GB Basketball, Basketball England and Volleyball England. 

In addition to his military role, clinically Dane practises privately at Yorkshire Sports Medicine (YSM) clinic where he has a specialist interest in concussion and consults with those with sport-related concussion at the clinic across a range of sports including Rugby League.

Born in Hull and based in York, Dane has experience of Rugby League in various settings having worked for Leeds Rhinos Under-16s and for the York club in a number of roles.  

He is the clinical lead for the MSc in Sport and Exercise Medicine at the University of Leeds, a programme which also has strong links to Rugby League; and the training programme director for NHS England’s specialist training programme for sport and exercise medicine in Yorkshire 

Robert Hicks, the RFL’s Director of Operations, said:

“We are pleased to share the news of Dane’s appointment to such a significant role in the sport. He combines specific Rugby League knowledge with a considerable range of experience in other sports and beyond.

“He will have a key position on our Clinical Advisory Group and the sport’s Brain Health Sub-Committee, in each case alongside Dr Gemma Phillips, our Deputy CMO.” 

Dr Vishnubala said:

“I am delighted and feel privileged to take on the role of CMO in the sport. I am looking forward to building on the work the team have done to date, and particularly looking forward to supporting the health care professionals working in the game as well as ensuring all our Rugby League players are well looked after through the standards we set and govern.”