In this first of two all Pro 12 Heineken Cup quarter finals, Cardiff Blues travel to Dublin to take on defending champions Leinster.
Having finished second in a Pool that contained London Irish, Racing Metro and table toppers Edinburgh, the Blues face a Leinster side has continued their form from last year and are ranked as the second most dangerous attacking side in European club rugby this season. However the Blues have the seventh strongest defence in Europe this season to repel the threat.
In other areas of the game the two sides are relatively evenly matched with Leinster just edging it in the scrum and Cardiff in the lineout. With the boot there is hardly anything to separate these two rivals.
Michael Paterson has been the Blues’ top performing player in Europe this season and indeed is the second best defensive player in all European competition based on the Amlin Opta Index. His score of 980 points in this area is second only to Roddy Grant and this is in large part down to his competition high 85 tackles (just two missed).
The team to face Leinster will be announced on Friday at 12 with the match kicking off at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday at 5.45pm.
With the news that Jamie Roberts is out for six months with his knee requiring surgery, Dafydd Hewitt or Gavin Evans are the main contenders to start at 12 for the Blues for their Heineken Cup quarter final match against Leinster. Evans played most of the match in the win over Racing Metro in Paris and started in the team that won against the same opposition in Cardiff. While Hewitt started for the Blues in their win away to London Irish.