Akira Ioane gets his first start for the Blues in Super Rugby Aotearoa after missing out on the squad altogether in last weekend's win over the Hurricanes.
Ioane's fortune comes at the expense a couple of injuries, forcing a reshuffle in the Blues' loose forwards for this weekend's clash against the Chiefs.
Tom Robinson (knee) and Blake Gibson (hamstring) will miss out on Saturday's trip to Hamilton, with Ioane and Dalton Papalii coming in as replacements.
Robinson put in yet another solid shift at blindside flanker against the Hurricanes but sustained a knee injury in the process, while Gibson took a head knock and had ice on his hamstring in last week's win.
Fortunately for the Blues, if there is one area depth can cover injuries it is their loose forwards.
All Blacks flanker Papalii replaced Gibson against the Hurricanes and impressed by snaffling two turnovers while contributing to a sound team defensive performance, while Ioane will be looking to prove himself after being handed the No 6 jersey.
Apart from the loose forwards, Leon MacDonald has stuck to the winning side in the season opener, including the dual playmaker combination of Otere Black at No 10 and Beauden Barrett at fullback.
Speaking earlier this week, Papalii said he is ready to seize his chance to potentially challenge All Blacks captain Sam Cane, who missed the Chiefs' loss to the Highlanders in Dunedin due to a back injury but is expected to return this weekend.
"Every New Zealand team is going to be tough – it's a derby out there – so the body is feeling it but I'll nail the recovery and get out there," Papalii said. "Getting those minutes and that first turnover really helped with my confidence throughout the whole game. I felt like I carried that through so hopefully I'll carry that into this week.
"Around the flanker position in the Blues it's bloody tough we've got so many good players. It's healthy competition we're all pushing each other."
Papalii, who can comfortably play in all three loose forward positions, said he hopes to solidify his role at No 7.
"I want to be a true seven going forward. I don't want to be a Jack of all trades master of none. I want to really push myself and dominate the seven position but at the end of the day if the six and eight jersey pops up and I get to start and I get the minutes I want then why not. The end goal for me is to win a championship with the Blues so the closer we get to that the more sacrifices I'll make."
The Blues take on the Chiefs at FMG Stadium in Hamilton on Saturday at 7.05pm.
15 Beauden Barrett, 14 Mark Telea, 13 Rieko Ioane, 12 TJ Faiane, 11 Caleb Clarke, 10 Otere Black, 9 Sam Nock; 8 Hoskins Sotutu, 7 Dalton Papalii, 6 Akira Ioane, 5 Josh Goodhue, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu (c), 3 Ofa Tuungafasi, 2 James Parsons, 1 Alex Hodgman.
Reserves: 16 Kurt Eklund, 17 Marcel Renata, 18 Sione Mafileo, 19 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 20 Tony Lamborn, 21 Finlay Christie, 22 Harry Plummer, 23 Matt Duffie.
15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Shaun Stevenson, 13 Quinn Tupaea, 12 Anton Lienert-Brown, 11 Sean Wainui, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Brad Weber, 8 Pita Gus Sowakula, 7 Lachlan Boshier, 6 Luke Jacobson, 5 Naitoa Ah Kuoi, 4 Tupou Vaa'l 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Samisoni Taukei'aho, 1 Aidan Ross.
16 Bradley Slater, 17 Reuben O'Neill, 18 Ross Geldenhuys, 19 Adam Thomson, 20 Dylan Nel, 21 Lisati Milo-Harris, 22 Kaleb Trask, 23 Solomon Alaimalo.