All Blacks flanker Jerome Kaino is being rested because of a neck problem in the only change to the Blues' starting 15 to play the Cheetahs in a Super rugby match at Whangarei on Saturday.
Coach Pat Lam today named Chris Lowrey in his place and said Kaino had been struggling with the injury over the past three to four weeks.
He described it as "not too serious" but niggly, with the player cramping up in the neck area.
"We've managed him during the week and it's got to the point now where it's not worth risk," he said.
"Probably rest is the best thing at the moment."
The Blues have a bye next week, and Lam is hopeful Kaino will be back to play the Waratahs in the round after that.
He said medical staff were confident they would be able to deal with the ailment and it would not be ongoing.
"He's played well with it and we look forward to him doing better without it," he said.
"The two-week rest should help him."
Isaia Toeava, Rene Ranger, Jared Payne, Luke McAlister, Joe Rokocoko, Stephen Brett, Albie Mathewson, Peter Saili, Luke Braid, Chris Lowrey, Anthony Boric, Kurtis Haiu, John Afoa, Keven Mealamu (captain), Tony Woodcock.
Reserves: Tom McCartney, Tevita Mailau, James King, Mat Luamanu, Chris Smylie, Lachie Munro, Benson Stanley.
- HERALD ONLINE