**Preparations are continuing to ramp up for our Guinness PRO14 teams ahead of this weekend's European fixtures.**\n\nAnd Dragons scrum-half Rhodri Williams has expressed his confidence ahead of [a daunting trip to his old club Bristol Bears in the Challenge Cup quarter-finals](http://www.wru.wales/2020/09/williams-prepares-to-face-familiar-foe/). \n\nHe said: “A quarter-final against one of the best English sides at the moment will be huge for the whole squad. \n\n“But at the end of the day it’s 15 against 15 and we’ll be going into the game to win it. We never go into a game defeated and we’re quite confident.” \n\nOver in Ireland, Leinster have confirmed that lock James Ryan is [fit to play in their crunch clash against Saracens](http://www.irishtimes.com/sport/rugby/pro14/leinster-confirm-james-ryan-s-fitness-ahead-of-saracens-clash-1.4354438), having returned from a shoulder injury in his side’s Guinness PRO14 final win over Ulster on Saturday. \n\nAfter his almost miraculous return to fitness, Ryan’s teammate Josh van der Flier has documented the huge efforts made by the 24-year-old to [enable him to line up for the Championship showpiece at the Aviva Stadium](http://www.sportsjoe.ie/rugby/james-ryan-comeback-6am-gym-sessions-relentless-rehab-216084).\n\n“He is one of those guys who'd be in on his day off, at six and seven in the morning, working hard. He's constantly doing his extras,” van der Flier said. \n\n“Behind the scenes, he is always keeping in touch with everything and making sure we're prepared. And you can just see how hard he works.” \n\nWhile there’s good news for the champions, Irish rivals Munster have been dealt a blow, having confirmed that Head of Athletic Performance Denis Logan will step down from his role next month. \n\nThe New York native joined the Limerick-based side in 2018, but will now [return to the United States with his family for personal reasons](http://www.rugbypass.com/news/another-blow-for-munster-as-highly-regarded-coach-to-leave/ ). \n\nSouth-African born prop Pierre Schoeman has spoken about his desire to represent Scotland in the near future, having been at Edinburgh since 2018. \n\nThe 26-year-old no longer has to wait until 2023 to qualify after World Rugby extended its three-year residency rule due to the coronavirus epidemic, and he is among [a host of players who will be eligible in 2021](http://www.news24.com/sport/rugby/pro14/sa-prop-eager-to-play-test-rugby-for-scotland-20200914 ). \n\nHe said: “You want to be able to tell your child that you have played internationally and against the best - it’s every rugby player’s dream.” \n\nElsewhere, the troubled Southern Kings - who last month suspended all rugby activity for the rest of 2020 due to financial issues - are likely to continue losing players, with [youngster Tiaan Botes on the radar of French clubs according to coach Robbi Kempson](http://www.heraldlive.co.za/sport/2020-09-14-southern-kings-player-drain-set-to-continue/). \n\nHe said: “We have already lost the most important player in Elrigh Louw, and we are going to lose players of his calibre to other South African provinces, and even more so to overseas clubs and perhaps in the French league. \n\n“Tiaan is only 18 years old and has a PRO14 cap behind him, and a French club would certainly have a look at a guy like that to take into their stable. \n\n“There is always a concern that we will lose athletes who are progressing very nicely into the high-performance environment and that they will in turn get better opportunities elsewhere.” \n\nMeanwhile, George North is set to miss Wales’ friendly against France in October [as he serves the remainder of his four-game ban](http://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/george-north-banned-wales-game-18931013), having been sent off for a dangerous tackle in Ospreys’ 20-20 draw with Dragons in August. \n\nAnd finally, former Wales and Lions star Ieuan Evans has been elected as a WRU National Council Member, [winning a three-way vote against Union chairman Gareth Davies and Nigel Davies](http://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/welsh-rugby-great-ieuan-evans-18932047).