Hickey was particularly impressive when he came on as a 46th minute replacement for Manning in that Borders victory. He landed three superb conversions, threw a beautiful cut-out pass that put Jerry Flannery in for a try and executed several long range touch finds.
Flannery is missing from the match day 22 after he picked up a slight leg strain at training in Limerick on Wednesday and his absence brings Denis Fogarty onto the bench for the first time this season following a shoulder operation.
Halstead's return means Lifeimi Mafi slips to the bench while Ian Dowling makes way for Kelly who will captain the side.
John O'Sullivan's return to fitness couldn't come at a more opportune time given that James Coughlan limped out of the Borders game with a leg injury.
Munster: C Cullen; S Payne, B Murphy, T Halstead, J Kelly capt; E Hickey, T O'Leary; D Hurley, F Sheahan, F Pucciariello; C Wyatt, M O'Driscoll; A Quinlan, T McGann, J O'Sullivan. Replacements: T Buckley, D Fogarty, D Ryan, M Melbourne, B O'Meara, J Manning, L Mafi.
Cardiff Blues: B Blair; T James, J Robinson, M Stcherbina, C Czekaj; N Robinson, M Phillips; T Filise, R Thomas, G Powell, D Jones, R Sidoli, S Morgan, X Rush (capt), R Shellard. Replacements: S Roberts, G Williams, B White, M Lewis, W Evans, M Luveitasau, N Macleod.
There will be no tickets on sale at the gate tomorrow night. Tickets will remain on sale up to 3pm tomorrow, only while stocks last, from the following outlets:
· Online on www.munsterrugby.ie
· Ticketmaster outlets nationwide
· Musgrave Park, Cork
· Munster Rugby Store, Maylor Street, Cork
· Empire Music, O'Connell St, Limerick
· Mahers Sports, Oliver Plunkett Street, Cork
· Cummins Sports, Douglas Court Shopping Centre, Cork
· The Outpost Bar, Bishopstown, Cork