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Cardiff will travel to the Sportsground to do battle with Connacht in the opening weekend of the new RaboDirect PRO12 campaign.
Both teams have started the past two seasons with victories while Connacht finished last term with three wins from four.
Connacht have lost only one of their last six matches on home soil while the Blues finished last season with only one win in six.
Ireland international Gavin Duffy will lead out Connacht, having been announced as captain for a second year running.
Duffy is supported on the wings by last season regulars Fetu'u Vainikolo and Tiernan O'Halloran while the centre partnership of Mata Fifita and Eoin Griffin completes the backline.
Kieran Marmion will gain his first cap for Connacht at scrum half. Another regular from last season is out half Miah Nikora who got a good run out in both pre-season friendlies in August.
Connacht have plenty of experience amongst the starting forwards. John Muldoon, Mike McCarthy, and Johnny O'Connor have almost 450 caps between them.
Director of rugby Eric Elwood is looking forward to kicking off with the new season, commenting: "All the pre-season training has led to this point and we can't wait to get going."
The Blues have a good record against the Irish province, having only suffered one defeat since 2005, a 18-16 loss at Sportsground in September 2009.
Coach Phil Davies is missing the likes of Sam Warburton, Jamie Roberts, Leigh Halfpenny, Michael Paterson, Chris Czekaj and Jason Tovey.
There is a starting competitive debut at his new region for hooker Andi Kyriacou, who lines up alongside Taufa'ao Filise and Thomas Davies.
"We are looking forward to the start of the season, after a pretty gruelling pre-season in many ways, the players have worked very hard to be fair to them," said Davies.
"The fitness standards that are needed for regional rugby are high and the players have all worked to achieve that standard. Connacht are a pretty solid team and Dan Parks is now there.
"I'm not sure if Dan is playing as he has suffered an injury but they have a pretty-workmen-like team and I have had experience myself over there with the Scarlets."
"So I know how tough they are there and we are expecting a tough game."
Connacht: 15 Gavin Duffy (capt), 14 Tiernan O'Halloran, 13 Eoin Griffin, 12 Mata Fifita, 11 Fetu'u Vainikolo, 10 Miah Nikora, 9 Kieran Marmion, 8 George Naoupu, 7 Johnny O'Connor, 6 John Muldoon, 5 Mike McCarthy, 4 Michael Swift, 3 Ronan Loughney, 2 Ethienne Reynecke, 1 Denis Buckley
Replacements: 16 Adrian Flavin, 17 Rodney Ah You, 18 Finlay Bealham, 19 Dave Gannon, 20 Willie Faloon, 21 David Moore, 22 Matthew Jarvis, 23 Robbie Henshaw.
Cardiff Blues: 15 Dan Fish, 14 Harry Robinson, 13 Gavin Evans, 12 Gareth Davies, 11 Tom James, 10 Ceri Sweeney, 9 Lewis Jones, 8 Andries Pretorius (c), 7 Josh Navidi, 6 Rory Watts-Jones, 5 James Down, 4 Robin Copeland, 3 Taufa'ao Filise, 2 Andi Kyriacou, 1 Thomas Davies
Replacements: 16 Rhys Williams, 17 Beniot Borrust, 18 Nathan Trevett, 19 Lou Reed, 20 Luke Hamilton, 21 Lloyd Williams, 22 Cory Allen, 23 Tom Williams, 24 Owen Williams.
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|Friday 14th March|
|19:05||Ulster vs Scarlets|
|Friday 21st March|
|19:05||Ospreys vs Cardiff Blues|
|19:15||Leinster vs Zebre|
|19:45||Edinburgh vs Ulster|
|Saturday 22nd March|
|15:00||Glasgow vs Scarlets|
|19:15||Munster vs Benetton Treviso|
|Sunday 23rd March|
|15:05||Newport Gwent D'gons vs Connacht|
|Saturday 29th March|
|15:00||Zebre vs Newport Gwent D'gons|
|18:00||Benetton Treviso vs Edinburgh|
|18:30||Cardiff Blues vs Ulster|
|19:00||Leinster vs Munster|
|Sunday 30th March|
|14:05||Scarlets vs Connacht|
|Thursday 3rd April|
|18:30||Newport Gwent D'gons vs Edinburgh|
|Friday 11th April|
|19:05||Ulster vs Connacht|
|19:05||Ospreys vs Leinster|
|19:45||Edinburgh vs Cardiff Blues|
|Saturday 12th April|
|18:00||Benetton Treviso vs Newport Gwent D'gons|
|18:30||Munster vs Glasgow|
|18:30||Scarlets vs Zebre|
|Saturday 19th April|
|15:00||Zebre vs Edinburgh|
|15:00||Glasgow vs Ulster|
|15:00||Leinster vs Benetton Treviso|
|15:00||Connacht vs Munster|
|Sunday 20th April|
|14:00||Cardiff Blues vs Scarlets|
|16:45||Newport Gwent D'gons vs Ospreys|
|Saturday 1st March|
|Leinster 28 - 25 Glasgow|
|Scarlets 18 - 13 Munster|
|Connacht 38 - 6 Benetton Treviso|
|Zebre 15 - 10 Cardiff Blues|
|Friday 28th February|
|Edinburgh 31 - 25 Ospreys|
|Ulster 38 - 8 Newport Gwent D'gons|
|Sunday 23rd February|
|Zebre 19 - 27 Connacht|
|Ospreys 11 - 25 Munster|
|Newport Gwent D'gons 24 - 23 Glasgow|
|Benetton Treviso 12 - 14 Ulster|
|Saturday 22nd February|
|Scarlets 25 - 21 Edinburgh|
|Thursday 20th February|
|Cardiff Blues 22 - 34 Leinster|
|Sunday 16th February|
|Ospreys 75 - 7 Benetton Treviso|
|Saturday 15th February|
|Munster 36 - 8 Zebre|
|Cardiff Blues 20 - 27 Glasgow|
|Connacht 11 - 7 Edinburgh|
|Friday 14th February|
|Leinster 31 - 19 Newport Gwent D'gons|
|Sunday 9th February|
|Zebre 8 - 31 Leinster|
|Glasgow 8 - 6 Connacht|
|Saturday 8th February|
|Munster 54 - 13 Cardiff Blues|
|Benetton Treviso 33 - 41 Scarlets|
|Friday 7th February|
|Ulster 10 - 7 Ospreys|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Stuart Barnes with skysports.com