The Blues will aim to give long-serving star Jerome Kaino a fitting send-off in his final game for the club when they take on the champion Crusaders in his last Super Rugby clash in Christchurch on Saturday.
Kaino, who heads to France after the season, will play his 139th game for the Blues on Saturday, to sit second on the all-time Blues list behind Keven Mealamu.
The Blues will not dwell on the 16 players not considered for selection with injury, nor the disappointing season, but focus on a quality performance against the best team in the Super conference.
“This game means a lot. We want to send Jerome off in the best possible fashion,” said coach Tana Umaga. “We are going into a cauldron in Christchurch, but we have to go with eyes wide open and also take confidence from the game last week.
“We’ve worked on the areas that were pretty obvious in terms of our defence but there will be no lack of motivation to play against the Crusaders."
The only change from the pack from last week is a start for Ben Nee-Nee after an injury to replacement Matiaha Martin ruled him out, while the backline remains the same.
The Blues team is:
Not considered because of injury: Otere Black (knee - season), George Moala (chest – season), Matt Johnson (surgery - season), Jimmy Tupou (knee - season), Josh Goodhue (concussion), Patrick Tuipulotu (shoulder - season), Glenn Preston (groin, season), Scott Scrafton (knee - season), Sonny Bill Williams (shoulder), Dalton Papalii (hamstring), Terrence Hepetema (back strain), Mike Tamoaieta (knee), Leni Apisai (hamstring), Jordan Trainor (hand), Lyndon Dunshea (shoulder), Matiaha Martin (shoulder), James Parsons (neck).