Pat Lam has heralded the work of his medical and athletic performance department to see Bristol Bears head into the play-offs with their smallest unavailable list of the season.
Bristol director of rugby Lam has selection headaches in nearly every position on the pitch going into the home play-off semi-final against Harlequins for the right reasons and acknowledged there will be plenty of talented players to miss out on the matchday 23.
Lam proudly announced he has 94 percent availability heading into the season-defining game, with Kyle Sinckler and Charles Piutau amongst those returning to action this weekend.
British and Irish Lion Sinckler has recovered from a minor hamstring pull to be able to face his former club while former All Black Charles Piutau’s troublesome Achillies has been rested suitably to be fit for the biggest game of the season to date.
Lam confirmed the two men set to miss out are hooker Bryan Byrne and winger Siva Naulago whose seasons are over because of knee injuries.
Naulago has not played since March but has made quite the impression since switching from rugby league in November, winning the award for Premiership try of the season for his sensational score against London Irish.
Lam said: “To get to this stage and have 94 percent availability on the basis of some quality work by our head of medical Rory Murray and his team and head of S&C Kev Geary and his team, it has been a massive team effort.
“We have used just 44 players in our 21 Premiership games and some of our so-called rock stars have played less than half.
“The effort we have put in has allowed rotation, we have been able to not risk players if they were not 100 percent, and the effort of the players for there to be competition means we pretty much have a full-strength side to select from and that creates its own headaches.
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“The main two who would have been in contention to play, but not guaranteed selection, and will miss out are Bryan Bryne – who has had some surgery on his knee – and also Siva Naulago who is recovering from his knee.
“Siva should certainly be ready to go, full fit and ready to go for the start of next season, Bryan a little bit longer.
“Otherwise everyone else is good to go.”