Bristol Bears director of rugby Pat Lam is looking forward to packed fixture schedule ahead of his team’s European Rugby Challenge Cup quarter-final against Dragons on September 18. 

The English side will face six games in 24 days ahead of their last-eight tie against the Welsh region, but Lam is keen to not use that as an excuse. 

“When it (the schedule) came out, we knew it would be congested, but we want to play the games,” said the 51-year-old. Everyone is in the same boat, so it is around your planning. 

“I think the number one thing is that we want to play games, so that’s good, and then it is about making a plan about how we are going to do that.” 

Lam is also aware he must re-assess the squad after each fixture, including after an encouraging 16-12 victory over Heineken Champions Cup quarter-finalists Saracens last weekend. 

“All those who played on Saturday (against Saracens) went and did recovery on Monday,” Lam added. All those that didn’t play went out and did a pretty physical session, and that’s what it is going to be right through this time. 

“After each game, you are reassessing where everyone is at. You are checking injuries and niggles versus guys who are fresh and ready to go. 

“Our depth is a lot better than it was, so there are options available. You assess after every game, and you manage the week.