Ian Madigan, who is the RaboDirect PRO12's third top points scorer (91 points) this season, partners Ireland international Isaac Boss at half-back with Andrew Goodman lining up at centre alongside Brendan Macken.
Out wide Andrew Conway is joined in the back-three by Darren Hudson, who makes his eighth senior appearance, and David Kearney who starts at full-back.
Dominic Ryan makes just his third appearance after an injury-interrupted season thus far and he completes an exciting back row alongside Shane Jennings and Jordi Murphy.
Leinster 'A' captain Jack McGrath is rewarded with a start in the front row after some impressive form in the British & Irish Cup.
Heinke van der Merwe is part of a replacements bench which includes seven players who are either in, or have come through, the Leinster Academy.
LEINSTER (v Cardiff Blues): David Kearney; Andrew Conway, Brendan Macken, Andrew Goodman, Darren Hudson; Ian Madigan, Isaac Boss; Jack McGrath, Aaron Dundon, Michael Bent, Leo Cullen (capt), Tom Denton, Dominic Ryan, Shane Jennings, Jordi Murphy.
Replacements: Tom Sexton, Heinke van der Merwe, Jamie Hagan, Ben Marshall, Rhys Ruddock, John Cooney, Noel Reid, Fionn Carr.