Leinster v Cardiff Blues
Friday 2 December 8.05pm RDS Dublin
The Blues travel to Dublin having won four successive matches in all competitions, whilst their most recent defeat in the RaboDirect PRO12 was at home to Glasgow in round five.
Cardiff Blues have won on two of their last three visits to Ireland and take on a Leinster side that is unbeaten in their last eight matches in all competitions, their last loss also being against Glasgow Warriors in the RaboDirect PRO12 on 17 September.
Each side won its respective home game when the two teams met last season, whilst the Blues have won just once in Dublin since the region was formed in 2003: 22-18 at Donnybrook on 5 March 2004.
The Blues are without the following eight players, who are in the Wales squad to face Australia: Leigh Halfpenny, Jamie Roberts, Alex Cuthbert, Lloyd Williams, Gethin Jenkins, Scott Andrews, Bradley Davies and Sam Warburton.
Speaking ahead of the match Forwards Coach, Justin Burnell, said,
“It’s a massive game for us and we can’t use the excuse that our best players are off on international duty”
“We still have a massive responsibility to our supporters, sponsors, to the league and also to ourselves.”
“We’ve got Leinster who is the number one team in Europe and are a formidable force,”
“I think they have just had some good news, in that they have a couple more players back and if you look at the calibre of players they have got back, there are South Africans and Fijians, so they have a massive wealth of talent.”
“That doesn’t faze us. We have to go to places like that and perform in order to become a better team.”
“We are going there with a view that we have to perform and I would be absolutely devastated if we didn’t.”
“We have got a fantastic mind set at the moment and we are pulling in that right direction, so we are very excited about the game.
15 Dan Fish 14 Richard Mustoe 13 Casey Laulala 12 Gavin Evans 11 Tom James 10 Ceri Sweeney 9 Richie Rees
8 Xavier Rush 7 Josh Navidi 6 Maama Molitika 5 Paul Tito (C) 4 Cory Hill 3 Taufaao Filise 2 Ryan Tyrrell 1 John Yapp
16 Marc Breeze 17 Nathan Trevett 18 Sam Hobbs 19 Macauley Cook 20 Michael Paterson 21 Lewis Jones 22 Gareth Davies 23 Dafydd Hewitt
Not available due to injury
Andries Pretorius - knee
Deiniol Jones - shoulder
Martyn Williams - arm
Gavin Henson - wrist
Kristian Dacey – shoulder