Cardiff Blues have reached the semi-finals of the Heineken Cup for the first time since they became a regional outfit in 2003. The last time Cardiff RFC arrived at the last four stage in Europe came back in 1996 when they beat Leinster 23-14 at Landsdowne Road before losing in the final to Toulouse.

Leicester Tigers have the greater experience at the business end of the competition after being involved in four previous Heineken Cup semi-finals. The 2001 and 2002 winners have won three of those fixtures with their sole loss coming against Stade Francais 27-19 at the Walkers Stadium four years ago.

The Blues will have six British Lions stars on show with Martyn Williams, Gethin Jenkins, Tom Shanklin, Andy Powell, Jamie Roberts and young gun Leigh Halfpenny all likely to feature. But the visitors will only have one representative heading to South Africa next month in scrum-half Harry Ellis.

The sides have met each other twice before in the competition with Leicester emerging victors on both occasions. The Tigers claimed a valuable 21-17 pool victory at the Millennium Stadium two years ago before completing the double in a convincing 34-0 win at Welford Road. 

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