**The hotly-anticipated return of Guinness PRO14 action continues to draw ever nearer and, as each Championship side steps up their preparation ahead of kick-off, there is plenty to keep an eye on behind the scenes.**\n\nTuesday’s media watch begins in Ireland, where [three-time champions Munster have welcomed seven players back to training ahead of their mouth-watering match-up with Leinster on August 22. ](https://www.limerickleader.ie/news/sport/565303/munster-welcome-seven-players-back-to-training-ahead-of-leinster-test.html)\n\nWith the squad having started week three of their second four-week bloc of training, Johann van Graan has been boosted by the return of Gavin Coombes (illness), Damian de Allende (groin), Dave Kilcoyne (calf), Jean Kleyn (thigh), Jeremy Loughman (thigh), Calvin Nash (wrist) and Fineen Wycherley (thigh) from injury.\n\nHowever, Tadhg Beirne and Roman Salanoa are in danger of missing the opening match of the season restart after suffering injuries in training.\n\nStaying in Limerick, prop [John Ryan has been discussing his off-the-pitch health battle on a new podcast - Gutcast - which has been launched by the Irish Society for Colitis and Crohn’s Disease (ISCC) in partnership with Janssen Sciences Ireland UC. ](https://www.limerickleader.ie/news/home/565096/munster-and-ireland-prop-talks-about-his-off-the-pitch-health-battle-in-news-podcast.html)\n\nThe 32-year-old had just turned 23 when he was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that causes long-lasting inflammation and ulcers in your digestive tract. \n\nHe said: “I think there are a lot of people with IBD probably keeping it a secret. We need to get rid of that stigma. I think keeping it a secret adds that extra bit of baggage and stress and when you get rid of that you feel a bit better.”\n\nOver in Galway, [Connacht lock Niall Murray has also featured on a podcast - the Master of None - where he talked about his career so far, what he has learned since going pro, and what the biggest challenges are in learning the lineout and scrum.](https://www.sportsnewsireland.com/rugby/video-niall-murray-talks-about-learning-curve-tactics-and-ambitions/)\n\nMoving to Scotland now, and ahead of the return of rugby behind closed doors, [former Edinburgh and Scotland full-back Chris Paterson has been recounting his experience of playing in an empty stadium. ](https://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/sport/other-sport/chris-paterson-remembers-when-edinburgh-met-castres-front-empty-murrayfield-2937326)\n\nThe 42-year-old predicts that players will be able to adjust to the absence of supporters, and that the experience will give them a huge appreciation for when the stands are full once again.\n\nHe said: “I don’t think there’ll be a one answer fits all but players now are so able to adapt. It will be strange for them and they will need a coping mechanism to do that, but coaches might be able to come up with some innovative ideas.”\n\nElsewhere, [World Rugby’s decision to extend the three-year residency period window could be good news for Edinburgh prop Pierre Schoeman, who will now be eligible to represent Scotland next year, rather than in 2023. ](https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/53720537)\n\nSouth Africa-born 26-year-old Schoeman will be one of those to benefit from extending the rule to December 2021, with Leinster wing James Lowe now eligible for Ireland after joining the province from his native New Zealand in 2017.