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Magners Preview: Leinster v Cardiff

Magners Preview: Leinster v Cardiff

A first win of the Magners League season will be on the agenda for Leinster on Saturday when they welcome the Cardiff Blues to Donnybrook.

…Leinster’s Kieran Lewis, who had been a fitness doubt for Saturday, is tackled by Cardiff scrum half Mike Phillips during the sides’ league meeting at the Millennium Stadium last season…

A first win of the Magners League season will be on the agenda for Leinster on Saturday when they welcome the Cardiff Blues to Donnybrook.

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MAGNERS LEAGUE: Saturday, September 16

LEINSTER v CARDIFF BLUES, Donnybrook, 7.30pm (live Setanta Sports Ireland)

**IrishRugby.ie will be running a live match tracker from Donnybrook**

Team News: Leinster have made two changes to the side that lost 20-14 in Edinburgh for their first competitive home game of the season.

Ireland winger Denis Hickie will make his first start of the Magners League on the left wing, while Australian Adam Byrnes replaces the injured Trevor Hogan (ankle) in the second row.

That is the only change to the pack while Irish internationals Keith Gleeson and Reggie Corrigan have both been named amongst a strong replacements bench.

Cardiff coach David Young has made a massive ten alterations to his side for their trip across the Irish seas. Injuries suffered in the game against the Ospreys has forced Young into making some many switches.

The game provides New Zealander Ben Blair with the opportunity to play his first game for the Blues and another new signing from Canada, Ed Fairhurst, also takes his place on the bench.

Leinster: Rob Kearney; Luke Fitzgerald, Kieran Lewis, Michael Berne, Denis Hickie; Felipe Contepomi (capt), Chris Whitaker; Ronan McCormack, Harry Vermaas, Will Green, Adam Byrnes, Owen Finegan, Stephen Keogh, Niall Ronan, Jamie Heaslip.

Replacements: Reggie Corrigan, Bernard Jackman, Devin Toner, Keith Gleeson, Guy Easterby, Christian Warner, Gary Brown.

Cardiff: Ben Blair; Chris Czekaj, Tom Riley, Marc Stcherbina, Mosese Luveitasau; Nick Macleod, Wayne Evans; John Yapp, Gareth Williams, Gary Powell, Bradley Davies, James Goode, Mark Lewis, Martyn Williams, Xavier Rush (capt).

Replacements: Taufaao Felise, Ross Johnson, Robert Sidoli, Scott Morgan, Ed Fairhurst, David Flanagan, Tom Shanklin.

Referee: Andy MacPherson (Scotland)
Touch Judges: Colin Stanley, Leo Colgan (both Ireland)

Coach Speak: Michael Cheika (Leinster) – “Their number nine (Mike Phillips) will terrorise you around the fringes of the ruck and maul. He slipped through and took advantage of that in our game towards the end of last year’s campaign and that try cost up the league.

“Xavier Rush has made such a massive impact that he has been named captain and they’ve also brought in Ben Blair from New Zealand, so Cardiff will be strong.”


October 2003 – Cardiff 22 Leinster 3, Arms Park
March 2004 – Leinster 18 Cardiff 22, Donnybrook
September 2004 – Leinster 9 Cardiff 9, Donnybrook
December 2004 – Cardiff 6 Leinster 15, Arms Park
October 2005 – Leinster 34 Cardiff 15, RDS
May 2006 – Cardiff 31 Leinster 40, Millennium Stadium


– Leinster’s Magners League season began last weekend with a 20-14 defeat in Edinburgh, but at home, Leinster have won seven games in-a-row in all competitions – and at three different grounds!

– Cardiff lost to the Ospreys (18-16) at the Liberty Stadium on Wednesday, and have not won in Ireland since an 18-8 victory over Connacht in January 2005

– Both encounters between the two teams last season were won by the home side on the day – Leinster sent Cardiff packing from the RDS with a 34-15 defeat. Felipe Contepomi, Shane Horgan, Gordon D’Arcy and Ben Gissing (2) all ran in tries that night

– Leinster out-half Contepomi, the league’s record points scorer in a season with 287 points, has scored in each of the last three meetings between the sides, tallying up 30 points. Denis Hickie and Rob Kearney, who are likely to feature this Saturday, both touched down in last May’s nail-biting defeat to the Blues

– The Blues won last May’s clash at the home of Welsh rugby with tries from Nick Macleod, Mike Phillips, Chris Czekaj, Martyn Williams and Craig Morgan seeing them to a 41-30 success. It was a case of Cardiff truly letting loose as they had failed to score a single try v Leinster in their three previous games against the province. They were living off penalties from Macleod, Lee Thomas and Nick Robinson