Cardiff travel to Dublin hoping to become the first team to beat Leinster in any competition this season (start: 17:05).

They will have to make it without their Welsh contingent, who are in the Welsh camp ahead of the opening Six Nations next Saturday.

It’s a big day for Lloyd Williams, who shares the record for most appearances for Cardiff alongside Taufaao Filise. Williams, who made his first-team debut against Leinster in 2010, returns to the starting line-up as Cardiff make six changes since last week’s loss to Brive.

Williams was joined in midfield by Jarrod Evans, with Rhys Priestland moving into the wing. Ray Lee-Lo makes a timely return to midfield, while Owen Lane recovers from an ankle injury and is named as a winger.

After resting before the journey to Brive, Captain Josh Turnbull flies close range, partnering James Botham and James Ratty on the back row. Brad Thayer is the only change in the starting five, replacing Rhys Carre, another member of Cardiff’s eight caps.

The game is streamed live on S4C and Viaplay (formerly Premier Sports), but if you can’t make it to the pits, follow us for updates on our live blog below:

Leinster: Chris Cosgrave; Max O’Reilly, Liam Turner, Ben Brownlee, Dave Kearney; Harry Byrne, Luke McGrath; Michael Milne, John McKee, Michael Alaalatoa, Ross Moloney, Brian Deeney, Rhys Ruddock (Captain), Scott Penney, Max Deegan.

Substitutions: Taj McElroy, Marcus Hanan, Thomas Clarkson, James Culhane, Will Connors, Nick McCarthy, Charlie Tector, Aitzol King.

Cardiff: Rhys Priestland; Owen Lane, Ray Li-Lo, Ben Thomas, Jason Harris; Jarrod Evans, Lloyd Williams; Brad Thayer, Kirby Myhill, Keiron Assiratti, Lopeti Timani, Seb Davies, Josh Turnbull (captain), James Botham, James Ratti.

Substitutions: Christian Dacey, Corey Domachowski, Will Davies-King, Rory Thornton, Shane Lewis-Hughes, Ellis Bevan, Aled Summergill, Matthew Morgan.


confident cardiff

Despite Leinster’s impressive record this season, Cardiff’s director of rugby Dai Young believes they have a plan to beat the Irish province.

Leinster are 11 points clear at the top of the table, having scored more points (384), scored more tries (54) and conceded fewer points (188) than in any other season.

“Few would disagree that facing Leinster in Dublin is the toughest place in Europe at the moment, even without its international players,” admitted Young.

“We know what we’re up against, but we beat them here last year, so we have a plan.

“They’re a top team so you have to be nine out of ten with everything you do against them, but we’ve done this before.

“You can’t just sit around because they have so much. You have to mix things up, play your game and make some early hits. It was a disappointment last week. [against Brive].”


Join us for live updates as Cardiff face their toughest European rugby challenge ever.

Neither team has beaten Leinster this season and Cardiff will be left without hope ahead of the clash.

After a promising start to the season, the Welsh club are in 10th place in the United Rugby Championship table.