Cardiff v Leinster- RaboDirect PRO12 preview

Last updated: 7th February 2013  

Gavin Evans Cardiff Blues 2012

Gavin Evans: Leads a depleted Cardiff Blues team

 Leo Cullen - Leinster Heineken Cup

Leo Cullen: Will skipper a Leinster side with youth and experience

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Leo Cullen leads a team which shows a blend of youth and experience for Leinster's trip to Cardiff Blues.

Ian Madigan partners Ireland international Isaac Boss at half-back with Andrew Goodman lining up at centre alongside Brendan Macken.

Out wide Andrew Conway is joined by Darren Hudson and, while Dave Kearney starts at full-back.

Dominic Ryan makes just his third appearance after an injury interrupted season thus far and he completes an exciting back-row alongside Shane Jennings and Jordi Murphy.

Leinster 'A' team skipper Jack McGrath is rewarded with a start in the front row after putting in strong performances in the British and Irish Cup

Meanwhile, Cardiff are also missing internationals and are being led by centre Gavin Evans.

The Blues face a Leinster side that has won four straight games in all competitions since losing 19-27 to table topping Ulster at Ravenhill in December.

Cardiff Blues: 15 Jason Tovey, 14 Owen Williams, 13 Gavin Evans (capt), 12 Dafydd Hewitt, 11 Harry Robinson, 10 Rhys Patchell, 9 Lewis Jones, 8 Robin Copeland, 7 Rory Watts-Jones, 6 Michael Paterson, 5 James Down, 4 Macauley Cook, 3 Taufa'ao Filise, 2 Rhys Williams, 1 Sam Hobbs.

Replacements: 16 Marc Breeze, 17 Nathan Trevett, 18 Scott Andrews, 19 Luke Hamilton, 20 Josh Navidi, 21 Alex Walker, 22 Ceri Sweeney, 23 Richard Smith.

Leinster: 15 Dave Kearney, 14 Andrew Conway, 13 Brendan Macken, 12 Andrew Goodman, 11 Darren Hudson, 10 Ian Madigan, 9 Isaac Boss, 8 Jordi Murphy, 7 Shane Jennings, 6 Dominic Ryan, 5 Tom Denton, 4 Leo Cullen, 3 Michael Bent, 2 Aaron Dundon, 1 Jack McGrath.

Replacements: 16 Thomas Sexton, 17 Heinke Van Der Merwe, 18 Jamie Hagan, 19 Ben Marshall, 20 Rhys Ruddock, 21 John Cooney, 22 Noel Reid, 23 Fionn Carr.

What they said...

Cardiff director of rugby Phil Davies

"I have no doubt that we will be stronger going into the end of this season than we were last year. Next season we will be stronger again. Leinster are ahead of us in this process but we are heading in the right direction.

"For me, tomorrow's game has a bit of pride attached to what we have to deliver. Over in Dublin it was not a good performance.

"The second half was creditable but the first half we got hammered. I didn't enjoy that. I didn't enjoy the game or what happened afterwards. We have to lay a strong marker down on Friday. We have to put in a massive performance against one of the top squads in Europe.

"It is a great challenge for the team. We want to try and win the game and the next few games so we can keep pushing towards the top four."

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