Rieko Ioane is the only All Black who hasn't travelled to Tokyo for the Blues' final match of the season.

The Sunwolves, Super Rugby's worst team with 12 defeats and just one win, will not be expected to put up much of a fight at Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium, and there is little riding on the result for the Blues, but test players Charlie Faumuina and Jerome Kaino and squad players Akira Ioane and Ofa Tu'ungafasi are all in the frame to play the match on Saturday afternoon.

Rieko Ioane, who played against the British and Irish Lions in the first two tests, for the Blues, and for the Maori All Blacks, was ruled out of the third test due to illness, and coach Tana Umaga has elected to leave him at home to recuperate.

For prop Faumuina the match will be significant because it will probably be his last for the Blues before he moves to Toulouse. It will be his 99th, one match tantalisingly short of the even 100 (he has played 50 games for Auckland and 50 tests for the All Blacks).


Loose forward Steven Luatua is another celebrating his final match for his franchise - his 75th - before he links with Bristol.

It would have been the final match for Piers Francis, the first-five who made his England test debut last month and who is returning home to play for Northampton, but an ankle injury has ruled him out.

Lock Patrick Tuipulotu, dropped from the Blues team to play the Lions after arriving late for training, has also picked up an ankle injury in Japan.

Faumuina played 57 minutes for the Blues against the tourists and 78 minutes off the bench in the three tests.

The Blues, minus their All Blacks, prepared for the Sunwolves match by playing a warm-up against Japanese club Honda, with whom they recently acquired a working relationship.

The Blues were comfortable winners and a similar result is likely against the Sunwolves, who have returned from an unsuccessful trip to South Africa where they were beaten 52-15 by the Stormers in Cape Town and a week earlier 94-7 by the Lions in Johannesburg.

A victory and Umaga's men will finish in ninth place on the points table. They are almost guaranteed to finish with more competition points than the Brumbies, who automatically qualify for the playoffs (and a home quarter-final) due to their position as Australian conference leaders.