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Cardiff Blues

  • Davies, Fish, Dacey,
    Penalty goals: Davies,
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22 - 34

Leinster

  • Reddan, Strauss, Bent, Conan,
    Penalty goals: Gopperth (2),
    Conversions: Gopperth (4),
  • Guinness PRO12
  • 20th Feb 2014
  • KO 20:05
  • Ground: Cardiff Arms Park
  • Att: 7,000

RaboDirect PRO12: Cardiff v Leinster team news

Last updated: 19th February 2014  

luke fitzgerald leinster ospreys

Luke Fitzgerald returns for Leinster

Phil Davies Cardiff Blues DOR 2013

Phil Davies makes seven changes for Cardiff

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Cardiff Blues welcome Josh Navidi back into their side for Thursday's clash with Leinster at the Arms Park.

Navidi has been ruled out of action through injury since last month's Heineken Cup clash with Toulon, but the fit-again Wales international is now recalled by Blues as they hunt a vital win.

Director of Rugby Phil Davies makes a total of seven changes to his starting line-up with exciting young wing Owen Jenkins, who last month signed a long-term deal at Blues, one of four changes to the back division.

Gavin Evans is named at inside centre, where he will partner Isaia Tuifua, while a new-look half back pairing will see Gareth Davies and Lewis Jones join forces.

Sam Hobbs will captain the team from the front row while James Down is recalled for his second start of the season in the RaboDirect PRO12.

Macauley Cook moves to blindside flanker where he links up with Navidi and Robin Copeland in the back-row.

Changes on the bench include a call-up for back row Luke Hamilton and Wales Under-20 scrum half Tomos Williams.

"We have a total of 22 players missing, either away on international duty or injured, but have great faith in our boys and I know they can do a great job," said Davies.

"We have a number of young players involved and it's exciting to see them get an opportunity to impress."

New pack

Meanwhile for Leinster, coach Matt O'Connor has made wholesale changes to his pack and a number of changes to his backline due to players being away on international duty.

Most notably both Richardt Strauss and Luke Fitzgerald return from injury and are both named to start, albeit that Fitzgerald will again be assessed ahead of the game in Cardiff.

Michael Bent, Strauss and Tadhg Furlong make up the front row with Tom Denton and Quinn Roux selected in the second row. Bent will win his 25th Leinster cap at the Arms Park.

In the back row Kevin McLaughlin captains the side from six, with Academy player and Ireland U20s capped Jack Conan selected at eight for his first Leinster senior start. Dominic Ryan starts at seven after impressing off the bench last weekend against the Dragons.

In the backs Noel Reid and Brendan Macken get another outing at centre with this the third game in a row that they have started alongside each other.

Zane Kirchner continues at full back with Darragh Fanning once again selected on the wing but switching to the right to accommodate Fitzgerald on the left. Should Fitzgerald not be cleared to play Sam Coghlan-Murray will start in his stead.

At half-back Eoin Reddan is again selected at scrum half having fully recovered from a calf injury with Jimmy Gopperth selected at 10.

Cardiff Blues: 15 Dan Fish, 14 Owen Jenkins, 13 Isaia Tuifua, 12 Gavin Evans, 11 Harry Robinson, 10 Gareth Davies, 9 Lewis Jones; 1 Sam Hobbs (c), 2 Kristian Dacey, 3 Scott Andrews, 4 James Down, 5 Filo Paulo, 6 Macauley Cook, 7 Josh Navidi, 8 Robin Copeland.
Replacements: 16 Rhys Williams, 17 Tom Davies, 18 Patrick Palmer, 19 Chris Dicomidis, 20 Luke Hamilton, 21 Tomos Williams, 22 Simon Humberstone, 23 Tom Williams.

Leinster: 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Darragh Fanning, 13 Brendan Macken, 12 Noel Reid, 11 Luke Fitzgerald / Sam Coghlan-Murray, 10 Jimmy Gopperth, 9 Eoin Reddan; 1 Michael Bent, 2 Richardt Strauss, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 4 Tom Denton, 5 Quinn Roux, 6 Kevin McLaughlin (capt), 7 Dominic Ryan, 8 Jack Conan.
Replacements: 16 Aaron Dundon, 17 Jack O'Connell, 18 Edward Byrne, 19 Mike McCarthy, 20 Rhys Ruddock, 21 Luke McGrath, 22 Ian Madigan, 23 Darren Hudson.

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Guinness PRO12 Table

Guinness PRO12 Table - December 21 2014
Pos Team P Pts
11 Zebre 10 9
Forthcoming Guinness PRO12 Fixtures
TimeFixture
Guinness PRO12
Friday 26th December
Guinness PRO12
14:05Cardiff Blues vs Dragons
17:00Munster vs Leinster
18:45Ulster vs Connacht
Saturday 27th December
14:40Glasgow Warriors vs Edinburgh
17:15Ospreys vs Scarlets
Sunday 28th December
14:00Zebre vs Treviso
Thursday 1st January
14:05Newport Gwent D'gons vs Cardiff Blues
17:00Connacht vs Munster
Friday 2nd January
19:35Edinburgh vs Glasgow Warriors
Saturday 3rd January
14:00Treviso vs Zebre
14:40Leinster vs Ulster
17:05Scarlets vs Ospreys
Friday 9th January
19:35Connacht vs Edinburgh
19:35Glasgow vs Scarlets
Saturday 10th January
14:40Cardiff Blues vs Leinster
15:00Zebre vs Munster
Sunday 11th January
14:00Treviso vs Ulster
16:00Ospreys vs Newport Gwent D'gons
Wednesday 14th January
TBCLeinster vs Newport Gwent D'gons
TBCScarlets vs Connacht
TBCEdinburgh vs Ospreys
TBCUlster vs Benetton Treviso
TBCZebre vs Glasgow
TBCMunster vs Cardiff Blues
Saturday 21st February
TBCBenetton Treviso vs Cardiff Blues

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