Blues bench Marshall

Chris Noakes will start at flyhalf for the Blues against the Highlanders in Dunedin with Benji Marshall among the substitutes.

Marshall started all three of the Blues' pre-season matches at 10 but coach John Kirwan has opted to play it safe for their first match of the Vodacom Super Rugby season on Saturday.

Kirwan said the former rugby league star was likely to come off the bench to play fullback.

'I wouldn't put him on the bench if I didn't think he could add to the football team. I think 15 will be more natural for him. There's less risk back there. I'm confident he's ready to go but not start and run the football team.'

Blues – 15 Charles Piutau, 14 Frank Halai, 13 Jackson Willison, 12 Francis Saili, 11 George Moala, 10 Chris Noakes, 9 Piri Weepu, 8 Peter Saili, 7 Luke Braid (c), 6 Steven Luatua, 5 Tom Donnelly, 4 Liaki Moli, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 James Parsons, 1 Ofa Tu'ungafasi.
Subs: 16 Tom McCartney, 17 Sam Prattley, 18 Angus Ta'avao, 19 Patrick Tuipulotu, 20 Brendon O'Connor, 21 Bryn Hall, 22 Benji Marshall, 23 Tevita Li.

Suepr Rugby teams (Round 2)

Photo: Hannah Peters/Getty Images

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