Leinster 34 - 20 Cardiff Blues
Fri 27 September 19:35 RDS Arena Att: 17,180 Ref: Marius Mitrea Pro12

Warburton returns for Leinster clash

Thu 26 Sep 2013 10:15 Warburton returns for Leinster clash
The fit-again flanker is one of five changes to the Blues starting XV for the fixture against current RaboDirect PRO12 champions Leinster in Dublin on Friday night (kick-off 7.35pm).

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.

Last Friday, Glasgow put an end to the Leinstermen’s ten-match unbeaten run in all competitions with the Warriors claiming a narrow 12-6.

However, Leinster’s only defeat at RDS in their last 17 encounters since the 2012 final was at the hands of Ulster in March.

Director of Rugby Phil Davies said: “We have made a few changes and we are looking forward to it – it’s a great challenge for us.

“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.”

Cardiff Blues: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Owen Williams, 12 Dafydd Hewitt, 11 Harry Robinson, 10 Rhys Patchell, 9 Lloyd Williams

1 Sam Hobbs, 2 Matthew Rees (c) 3 Taufa’ao Filise, 4 Lou Reed, 5 Filo Paulo, 6 Josh Navidi, 7 Sam Warburton 8 Andries Pretorius

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