Blues back Cowan

Jimmy Cowan will start at scrumhalf for the Blues against the Chiefs in North Harbour on Saturday.

The former All Black will earn his 124th Vodacom Super Rugby cap, but his first since returning to New Zealand rugby following two years in English rugby with Gloucester.

Cowan pushes Bryn Hall, one of the Blues' most consistent players last year, out of the squad altogether, with Jamison Gibson-Park's swift delivery earning him a spot on the bench.

Maori All Black Ihaia West has been named at flyhalf, while loosehead prop Tony Woodcock returns to Super Rugby for the first time in eight months.

The Blues will be led by new captain Jerome Kaino.

Blues – 15 Lolagi Visinia, 14 Charles Piutau, 13 George Moala/Hamish Northcot, 12 Francis Saili, 11 Tevita Li, 10 Ihaia West, 9 Jimmy Cowan, 8 Jerome Kaino (c), 7 Brendon O'Connor, 6 Steven Luatua, 5 Hayden Triggs, 4 Josh Bekhuis, 3 Angus Ta’avao, 2 James Parsons, 1 Tony Woodcock.
Subs: 16 Matt Moulds, 17 Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 18 Charlie Faumuina, 19 Akira Ioane, 20 Luke Braid, 21 Jamison Gibson-Park, 22 Simon Hickey, 23 Hamish Northcott/Ben Lam.

Super Rugby teams (Round 1)

Photo: Phil Walter/Getty Images

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Simon Borchardt