Blue coach Leon MacDonald stuck to his starting line-up for the third round of the Investec Super Rugby Aotearoa against the Highlanders at Eden Park on Saturday, with a 09.05 (SA Time) kick-off.
MacDonald said although a number of the squad have pressed hard for inclusion the current group continued to prove themselves, and the only change comes on the bench where England international Joe Marchant is included in what will be his final match for the Blues before returning to his Harlequins club in London.
“The whole squad are training hard, and our current starters are getting tested at every training session, which is what we want, this group of 23 continue to do the business. They are developing well to the style of game we want to play and adapting positively to the new rule emphasis, which will lead to a more exciting and fluid game," said MacDonald.
“It is the last game before our first bye which will allow us to reset for the next block of games.
Blues: 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. Joe Marchant.