Leinster v Cardiff Blues - RaboDirect PRO12 match preview
Last Updated: 26/10/12 1:48pm
Richardt Strauss returns to the Leinster starting XV for Saturday's RaboDirect PRO12 encounter with the Cardiff Blues.
The South Africa-born hooker, who has just been called into the Ireland squad for the autumn internationals, replaces the benched Sean Cronin as one of four changes.
Jordi Murphy and Devin Toner also come into the pack, while David Kearney comes in on the wing.
There is a further alteration on the bench, with flanker Rhys Ruddock set to make his first appearance of the season.
Cardiff Blues have made four changes to their line-up for the trip to Leinster.
Having lost to Toulon in the Heineken Cup last time out, director of rugby Phil Davies has opted to recall Jason Tovey at fly-half.
Tovey replaces Ceri Sweeney in the No 10 jersey - while centre Dafydd Hewitt also comes into the backs for the injured Gavin Evans.
Up front, prop Scott Andrews and lock James Down get the nod ahead of Benoit Bourrust and Lou Reed.
Leinster: 15 Ian Madigan, 14 David Kearney, 13 Brian O'Driscoll, 12 Gordon D'Arcy, 11 Fergus McFadden, 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Eoin Reddan, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 Jordi Murphy, 6 Kevin McLaughlin, 5 Devin Toner, 4 Leo Cullen (capt), 3 Mike Ross, 2 Richardt Strauss, 1 Cian Healy.
Replacements: 16 Sean Cronin, 17 Heinke van der Merwe, 18 Jamie Hagan, 19 Damian Browne, 20 Rhys Ruddock, 21 Isaac Boss, 22 Brendan Macken, 23 Fionn Carr.
Cardiff Blues: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Dafydd Hewitt, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Tom James, 10 Jason Tovey, 9 Lloyd Williams, 8 Andries Pretorius (c), 7 Sam Warburton, 6 Josh Navidi, 5 James Down, 4 Bradley Davies, 3 Scott Andrews, 2 Marc Breeze, 1 Tafa'ao Filise.
Replacements: 16 Rhys Willimas, 17 Nathan Trevett, 18 Campese Ma'afu, 19 Lou Reed, 20 Robin Copeland, 21 Lewis Jones, 22 Ceri Sweeney, 23 Tom Williams.
What they said...
Cardiff Blues director of rugby Phil Davies
"To win a Heineken Cup, like they have in the last four years, their strength speaks for itself. They've got a pretty multi-faceted team.
"Their kicking game is well established, their set-piece and their ability to be direct is well established, as is their wide game. So they've got a pretty much all-round game.
"That is what you need, to be as successful as they've been in Europe over the last three or four years. So, we've got a big job on our hand and for me the break down is going to be the main area of battle. We've got to be red hot both in attack and defence."
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Edinburgh37 - 0Zebre
Ulster26 - 10Leinster
Sat 25th Apr
Connacht13 - 31Glasgow Warriors
Cardiff Blues23 - 31Ospreys
Munster30 - 19Treviso
Dragons10 - 29Scarlets
Fri 8th May
Dragons0 - 0Edinburgh
Leinster0 - 0Treviso
Ospreys0 - 0Glasgow Warriors
Sat 9th May
Ulster0 - 0Munster
Zebre0 - 0Connacht
Sun 10th May
Scarlets0 - 0Cardiff Blues
Sat 16th May
Cardiff Blues0 - 0Zebre
Connacht0 - 0Ospreys
Edinburgh0 - 0Leinster
Glasgow Warriors0 - 0Ulster
Munster0 - 0Dragons
Treviso0 - 0Scarlets