Former All Black Sevens player Pita Ahki will make his season debut for the Blues in their Super Rugby clash against the Chiefs in Hamilton on Saturday.
Ahki makes his first start after a pre-season foot injury, and will start at centre outside George Moala who moves in one slot, with Peter Saili moving to the bench.
All Black and Blues veteran Keven Mealamu returns for his second start of the season, Ofa Tu’ungafasi starts with Tony Woodcock out with injury while fellow All Black Charlie Faumuina is bracketed at prop with Angus Ta’avao.
Patrick Tuipulotu will come off the bench along with fellow All Black James Parsons.
There are changes in the backs with Jamison Gibson-Park given his first start at scrum-half and Tevita Li returning to the wing.
Blues: 15 Charles Piutau, 14 Frank Halai, 13 Pita Ahki, 12 George Moala, 11 Tevita Li, 10 Dan Bowden, 9 Jamison Gibson-Park, 8 Jerome Kaino, 7 Brendon O'Connor, 6 Steven Luatua, 5 Hayden Triggs, 4 Josh Bekhuis, 3 Charlie Faumuina/Angus Ta'avao, 2 Keven Mealamu, 1 Ofa Tu'ungafasi
Replacements: 16 James Parsons, 17 Sam Prattle, 18 Ta'avao, 19 Patrick Tuipulotu, 20 Luke Braid, 21 Jimmy Cowan, 22 Ihaia West, 23 Francis Saili.
Date: Saturday, April 4
Venue: Waikato Stadium, Hamilton
Kick-off: 19:35 local (06:35 GMT 17:35 AEDT, 08:35 SAST)
Referee: Mike Fraser
Assistant Referees: Glen Jackson, Shane McDermott
TMO: Ben Skeen