The Chiefs have received a boost ahead of facing the Blues as All Black scrum-half Tawera Kerr-Barlow has re-signed for the next two years.
Chiefs head coach Dave Rennie said the 24-year-old has displayed a superb work ethic recovering from his horrific knee injury late in 2014.
"Tawera is incredibly professional. His dedication to rehab and developing other parts of his game throughout his time out has been impressive. He is in fantastic condition," he told the Chiefs' official website on Friday.
“He is now one of our senior players who contributes greatly in our environment. I know he is hungry to get back to top level footy."
The tenacious half-back added: "It is an exciting time to be a rugby player in New Zealand and it is great to have certainty around my future for the next few years.
"I am fortunate to be in two exceptional world class teams that have phenomenal environments and people, which make it very appealing to continue playing in New Zealand."
Kerr-Barlow has also signed on with the Waikato Rugby Union for a further two years.
"I am proud to be from Hamilton and I love the Chiefs and Waikato, so am rapt to have recommitted till 2017," he said.
Kerr-Barlow has 56 Chiefs matches to his name, after making his debut in 2011. He has played 15 Tests for the All Blacks after making his first appearance against Scotland on the end-of-year tour in 2012 and has notched up 39 matches for Waikato since debuting in 2009.
He is expected to feature in the early rounds of this year's ITM Cup as he continues his encouraging return from injury. The player is working towards a return to the All Blacks and has already played with the Maori All Blacks and his local club Hautapu.