Sonny Bill Williams has been officially ruled out of the Blues team for Friday night's Super Rugby match against the Cheetahs at Eden Park due to concussion.

TJ Faiane gets a rare start at second five while Declan O'Donnell comes in on the right wing for his first start of the season for Matt Duffie.

Melani Nanai starts at fullback for Michael Collins who drops to the bench.

There's a return via the bench for first five Ihaia West having recovered from an ankle injury.

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All Blacks lock Patrick Tuipulotu returns from a back injury with Gerard Cowley Tuioti moving to the bench.