Youngster Michael Hobbs has been entrusted with the Blues number 10 jersey in their final Super Rugby pre-season game against the Highlanders on Friday.

New recruit Piri Weepu is carrying an ankle injury and won't play in the match, meaning Hobbs gets the chance to impress.

Coach Pat Lam has indicated he's also likely to start in their season opener against the Crusaders next week.

Luke Braid also comes into the side for his first start, partnering brother Daniel Braid on the flanks while Jerome Kaino will start at number eight.