Blues captain Jerome Kaino has been suspended for one week for striking Chiefs prop Pauliasi Manu in a Super Rugby warm-up match on Friday.
The All Blacks flanker committed the offence in the second half of the Blues' 24-12 victory in Pukekohe.
Kaino tried to free himself from a maul and caught Manu with a swinging right arm. Although he apologised for the offence, saying his actions were unintentional, Kaino received little sympathy from New Zealand Rugby.
The 32-year-old's suspension means he will miss the Blues' Super rugby opener against the champions, the Highlanders, at Eden Park in Auckland on Friday.
Although the loss of their captain is a blow for the Blues, they have plenty of back row depth with Akira Ioane, Steven Luatua and Joe Edwards all capable of playing on the blindside flank.