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Cardiff to get dose of Blues

EOIN REDDAN is on a mission to promote the relevance and importance of the Pro12 League. The man could have a future in the communications industry.

"Back to the competition that everyone seems to underestimate every time. The Rabo' is a very tough competition," he said.

The Limerick man was more than prepared to pepper his argument with a few salient facts that could lead one to believe the PRO12 and not the Premiership or the French Top 14 was the best league in Europe. "We have three international teams coming out of it, four including Italy, and the Premiership has got one (England)," he stated.

Reddan is clearly disappointed at how those outside the club view what are the valuable, bread-and-butter ingredients of the PRO12. Do the players see it as vital? "I think players do. I don't necessarily think the media does. Our fans come and see us every week. It is probably harder to keep it important because you are being told it is not.

"It probably makes it a little bit tougher where you come in and people think it is an easier week this week. It's not. We are playing against Lloyd Williams, (Alex) Cuthbert, Jamie Roberts, Leigh Halfpenny.

"On our side, you have Jonny (Sexton), Brian (O'Driscoll) - a number of internationals that might be up for selection. In terms of the amount of internationals that could potentially be playing on Saturday night, the Premiership is never going to have that. It is more of a case of how it is reported on and how it is perceived as a step down. In reality, it's not. All week we are going to be told this game isn't going to be as tough as the last one.

"That Ospreys game last season in the final was one of the toughest games I have ever played in. That is the standard of this competition."

Despite all the doom and gloom around Leinster's inconsistency, they have game managed their way to four victories in six matches without scaling the heights.

Full-back Rob Kearney may be out for eight weeks, but Isa Nacewa should be back for the Heineken Cup double-take with Clermont Auvergne and Luke Fitzgerald should also be firing.

Cardiff have once again shown their propensity for flattering only to deceive, slipping to back-to-back defeats in the PRO12 to Ulster and Glasgow.

Cardiff followers have to look all the way back to March 2004 for the last time the Welsh club humbled Leinster at home.

Leinster v Cardiff Blues
The RDS, tomorrow, 6.30 (live RTE2)

Verdict: Leinster


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