Kaino and Piutau return after enforced rest but Tuipulotu likely to be sidelined.
Jerome Kaino and Charles Piutau will return for the Blues to play fellow strugglers the Force on Saturday, but Patrick Tuipulotu is again likely to be on the sidelines.
All Blacks Kaino, the Blues skipper and No8, and fullback Piutau were badly missed in the 29-15 defeat by the Crusaders in Christchurch but are back in the frame after their week off under national team orders.
The pair have been two of the best-performing players as the Blues have continued to disappoint, but unfortunately for coach John Kirwan, lock Tuipulotu's groin injury is likely to keep him out again.
The return of Kaino, the Blues' top try-scorer this season with three, means Kirwan has decisions to make on the mix of his loose forward trio, with Steven Luatua and impressive newcomer Akira Ioane vying for the blindside flanker's spot.
With the season gone for the Blues in terms of their play-off hopes, Kirwan could select 19-year-old Ioane ahead of Luatua, who has again struggled for form this year after his breakthrough 2013.
Ioane, whom Kirwan is resigned to losing to the New Zealand Under-20 team next month, wasn't overawed in the slightest against the likes of Richie McCaw and Kieran Read at AMI Stadium last Saturday.
In fact, the former New Zealand Sevens player showcased his speed and fend in the perfect way by running around McCaw in the second half before the All Black captain went off with concussion. Ioane's leg-drive when he carried the ball through the red and black defence was particularly eye-catching.
Luatua has been troubled by constant injury niggles this season, but Ioane's continued development could be considered a priority as Kirwan seeks to recoup something from a season which has slumped from one defeat to another. The Blues have won only one of 10 matches.
One of the things Kirwan will have to weigh up is Luatua's proven lineout ability as the Blues' set piece was put under immense pressure by the Crusaders.
The bottom-placed Force have also won only one match, but lost by only 35-27 to the Chiefs in Hamilton last weekend despite losing their halfback Ian Prior in the first half after a dangerous tackle.
Prior's halfback rival at the Perth-based team, Alby Matthewson, a former Blues player, will not be returning because of injury.
The Blues will be favoured to win at Eden Park if only because of their record there. The Cricket World Cup meant their first game there this season didn't come until round nine, when they duly beat Australian conference high-flyers the Brumbies, and five of their final six matches of the season will be held at their fortress.
Blues team to play the Force at Eden Park on Saturday, kick-off 5.30 is: Charles Piutau, Lolagi Visinia, Francis Saili, George Moala, Melani Nanai, Dan Bowden, Jimmy Cowan, Jerome Kaino, Brendon O'Connor, Akira Ioane, Hayden Triggs, Josh Bekhuis, Charlie Faumuina, Keven Mealamu,Tony Woodcock. Reserves: James Parsons, Ofa Tu'ungafasi, Angus Ta'avao, Steven Luatua, Luke Braid, Jamison Gibson-Park, Ihaia West, Hamish Northcott.