Moore ready for tough front-row battle with Jenkins

Cardiff Blues may be lying ninth in the Pro12 table, but with a pack boasting three British and Irish Lions, as well as a recalled Alex Cuthbert on the wing, Leinster know it won’t be easy at the Arms Park.

Moore ready for tough front-row battle with Jenkins

With two of those Lions in the front-row, the visitors’ new trio from last weekend’s win over Ulster will also be at the front line as Matt O’Connor’s side aim to cement their place in the top four.

Certainly, Marty Moore’s return is anything but a gentle easing back into competitive action. Moore will face 110-cap Gethin Jenkins, who makes his 150th appearance for the Blues.

The 23-year-old’s scrum coach, Marco Caputo, however, insists the 19-stone plus forward has the physical build to be a problem for any prop in world rugby and is eager to reassert his claims for a regular starting place.

“He’ll be motivated to make his mark in the group and establish his place in the pecking order,” Caputo said.

“He’s a very good footballer, he does all the bits in and around the ball, carrying and making his tackles but for us we’ll get best value out of Marty if he uses his body shape.”

Despite the more positive injury updates coming out of Leinster HQ this week, O’Connor is still missing a host of Ireland internationals, including captain Jamie Heaslip and the suspended Jack McGrath.

Ben Te’o and Noel Reid also form a new partnership in the centre.

Former Australian international Caputo, though, maintains that those who have come in have more than eased the burden while the province wait for the return of longer term absentees like Cian Healy and Sean O’Brien.

“What gives us a little comfort is we have someone like Jack Conan who is playing the house down and probably deserves to maintain his spot in the team. At certain stages of the year the best we’ve been able to do is field a patched-up team and just send out the bodies that were available. We’ve got significant players coming back with serious credentials and it’s nice to have that depth.

“If we can get through these critical next two or three matches it sets us up for a nice run home. The quality of those players will be a handful for anyone. Cardiff is the most important thing, get through that and put in a good performance, get a result and we’ll be confident going into the two European games.”

CARDIFF BLUES: J Tuculet; A Cuthbert, C Allen, G Evans, L Amorosino; G Anscombe, T Knoyle; G Jenkins (c), K Dacey, A Jones, L Reed, F Paulo, J Turnbull, S Warburton, J Navidi.

Replacements: M Rees, S Hobbs, T Filise, J Hoeata, M Vosawai, L Williams, G Davies, A Thomas.

LEINSTER: R Kearney (c); F McFadden, B Te’o, N Reid, D Kearney; J Gopperth, L McGrath; M Bent, S Cronin, M Moore; T Denton, K Douglas; D Ryan, J Murphy, J Conan.

Replacements: R Strauss, J Hagan, T Furlong, M McCarthy, J Van Der Flier, E Reddan, I Madigan, D Fanning.

Referee: Referee: Neil Paterson (SRU).

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