Planet Rugby

Preview: Leinster v Cardiff Blues

26th September 2013 12:26

Share:

SKY_MOBILE ODriscoll Brian Leinster

Back in blue: Brian O'Driscoll

Brian O'Driscoll has been named at outside centre for Leinster as they prepare for the visit of Cardiff Blues on Friday.

O'Driscoll will make his 174th Leinster appearance in a side which includes three fellow British and Irish Lions in Cian Healy, Jamie Heaslip and Rob Kearney.

In a further boost, Ireland back Fergus McFadden and second row Quinn Roux have recovered from their respective injuries to also take their places in the starting XV.

Ian Madigan starts at out-half and will partner fellow Ireland international Isaac Boss at half-back, with Noel Reid partnering O'Driscoll at centre.

Heaslip, who will make his 167th appearance in Leinster colours, is named in the back-row by Rhys Ruddock (earning his 62nd cap) and Dominic Ryan (his 49th).

Ireland prop Mike Ross is named on the replacements bench alongside the likes of Jimmy Gopperth and Jordi Murphy.

Meanwhile, inspirational back-row Sam Warburton will make his first appearance of the season for Cardiff Blues after recovering from injury ahead of schedule.

The fit-again flanker is one of five changes to the Blues starting XV.

Harry Robinson returns to the left wing while Lloyd Williams is recalled from the bench and is paired at half back with Rhys Patchell, who remains in the top five points-scorers in the Pro12.

A new look pack sees skipper Matthew Rees return to the starting line-up with prop Sam Hobbs making his first start this season at loosehead.

"We have made a few changes and we are looking forward to it - it's a great challenge for us," said director of rugby Phil Davies.

"We're playing the champions in their own backyard. That is a pretty big challenge and we are looking forward to it. We're a proud bunch of players and we want to go out and perform in Ireland. We will put a lot of emotion into the performance and also some control and skill, which I think we have shown in the first three games.

"What was missing last Friday was emotion; it won't be missing this Friday and that is for sure. We're striving to ultimately be successful and, as everyone knows, setbacks can galvanise and push teams forward.

"We've trained well and built on the good work we have done in the last three or four weeks. We have kept the team going forward and looked at areas where we can improve as we go into a pretty uncompromising fixture."

Form: Leinster's ten match unbeaten run in all competitions came to a halt in Glasgow on Friday. The Leinstermen's solo defeat at the RDS in their last 17 encounters since the 2012 Final was at the hands of Ulster in March. Cardiff Blues only win in their last five RaboDirect Pro12 fixtures was 21-10 at home to Connacht in round 2. The Blues most recent win on the road in the tournament was by a single point against Edinburgh at Murrayfield in February. The Blues won two of their four away games against the Irish Provinces last season. Cardiff Blues have beaten Leinster just once in their last 13 meetings in all competitions since May 2007: 11-3 at Cardiff City Stadium in February 2011. The Welshmen have never won in seven previous visits to the RDS.

The teams:

Leinster: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Fergus McFadden, 13 Brian O'Driscoll, 12 Noel Reid, 11 Dave Kearney, 10 Ian Madigan, 9 Isaac Boss, 8 Jamie Heaslip (capt), 7 Dominic Ryan, 6 Rhys Ruddock, 5 Quinn Roux, 4 Devin Toner, 3 Martin Moore, 2 Sean Cronin, 1 Cian Healy.
Replacements: 16 Aaron Dundon, 17 Jack McGrath, 18 Mike Ross, 19 Tom Denton, 20 Jordi Murphy, 21 John Cooney, 22 Jimmy Gopperth, 23 Brendan Macken.

Cardiff Blues: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Owen Williams, 12 Dafydd Hewitt, 11 Harry Robinson, 10 Rhys Patchell, 9 Lloyd Williams, 8 Andries Pretorius, 7 Sam Warburton, 6 Josh Navidi, 5 Filo Paulo, 4 Lou Reed, 3 Taufa'ao Filise, 2 Matthew Rees (capt), 1 Sam Hobbs.
Replacements: 16 Kristian Dacey, 17 Thomas Davies, 18 Scott Andrews, 19 James Down, 20 Robin Copeland, 21 Lewis Jones, 22 Gareth Davies, 23 Cory Allen.

Date: Friday, September 27
Kick-off: 19:35 BST
Venue: RDS, Dublin
Referee: Referee: Marius Mitrea (FIR)
Assistant Referees: M Patton, B O'Connell (both IRFU)
Citing Commissioner: Murray Whyte (IRFU)
TMO: Alan Rogan (IRFU)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Super Rugby
Saturday , July 26
Waratahs vs Brumbies19:40
Crusaders vs Sharks19:35
More Super Rugby fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Super Rugby
Saturday , July 19
Brumbies 32 - 30 ChiefsBrumbies vs Chiefs Report
Sharks 31 - 27 HighlandersSharks vs Highlanders Report
Saturday , July 12
Crusaders 34 - 8 HighlandersCrusaders vs Highlanders Report
Reds 3 - 34 WaratahsReds vs Waratahs Report
Lions 60 - 25 CheetahsLions vs Cheetahs Report
Stormers 10 - 34 SharksStormers vs Sharks Report
Friday , July 11
Blues 8 - 11 ChiefsBlues vs Chiefs Report
Brumbies 47 - 25 Western ForceBrumbies vs Western Force Report
Bulls 40 - 7 Melbourne RebelsBulls vs Melbourne Rebels Report
Sunday , July 6
Waratahs 44 - 16 HighlandersWaratahs vs Highlanders Report
Saturday , July 5
Crusaders 21 - 13 BluesCrusaders vs Blues Report
Western Force 30 - 20 RedsWestern Force vs Reds Report
Stormers 16 - 0 BullsStormers vs Bulls Report
Cheetahs 27 - 20 SharksCheetahs vs Sharks Report
Friday , July 4
Chiefs 24 - 16 HurricanesChiefs vs Hurricanes Report
Lions 34 - 17 Melbourne RebelsLions vs Melbourne Rebels Report
More Super Rugby results
International Match
Saturday , June 28
South Africa 55 - 6 ScotlandSouth Africa vs Scotland Report
More International Match results
Super Rugby
Hurricanes 16 - 9 CrusadersHurricanes vs Crusaders Report
Waratahs 39 - 8 BrumbiesWaratahs vs Brumbies Report
Western Force 14 - 40 BluesWestern Force vs Blues Report
Friday , June 27
Highlanders 29 - 25 ChiefsHighlanders vs Chiefs Report
Melbourne Rebels 20 - 36 RedsMelbourne Rebels vs Reds Report
More Super Rugby results
International Match
Saturday , June 21
Australia 39 - 13 FranceAustralia vs France Report
South Africa 31 - 30 WalesSouth Africa vs Wales Report
New Zealand 36 - 13 EnglandNew Zealand vs England Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00