Pat Lam had admitted the coronavirus has left him fearing the worst – that he won’t have his job as Bristol director of rugby at the end of it and he might lose his New Zealand-based elderly parents to the deadly virus. 

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Lam’s Bears looked playoff-bound when the Gallagher Premiership ground to a juddering halt last month, Bristol winning eight of 13 matches to secure third place on the ladder. 

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Freddie Burns takes on Huw Jones in the last 16 of the RugbyPass FIFA 20 charity tournament 

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However, that progress had now been mothballed and with rugby in turmoil amid salary cuts and furloughs, Lam feels fortunate to still have a job at all. 

In an interview with the Telegraph, the Bristol boss said: “While we are taking pay cuts – and no one likes it – instead of looking at it as a 25 per cent pay cut, you should be thinking of (it as) still getting 75 per cent of my pay. 

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“The other thing you should prepare for is that we may not have jobs after all this. I have said to my wife, we may be in a scenario where I don’t have a job at the end of all this.”

Preparing for the worst has been at the heart of Lam’s approach towards getting through this lockdown with a positive outcome. “I said honestly to all the fellows and ladies who work with us that you have to understand that someone close to you is possibly going to die with this virus,” he said.

“There is lots of doom and gloom but you have to prepare for that… what should be motivating you is that you have the thought of what could be the worst scenario,” he said, explaining the actions he has taken to safeguard his family back in Auckland.  

“The ultimate is if I lose my mum and dad. They lived with my sister but, to isolate, I have moved them into an apartment in Auckland the week before New Zealand went into shut down because my dad has underlying issues.

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“I talk to them every day. I have prepared for the worst-case that there is the potential that they could die from coronavirus. My conversations with them now are really positive; it is all about mindset. I say stay strong in your body, mind and your soul.”

WATCH: Rory Best chats to Jim Hamilton in the latest episode of The Lockdown, the pandemic RugbyPass series

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