Benji Marshall will start his third successive warm-up game at flyhalf, against the Chiefs in Rotorua on Friday.
While Blues coach John Kirwan denied that Marshall had already secured the No 10 jersey for their Super Rugby opener against the Highlanders in Dunedin next Friday, he admitted the former rugby league player had the inside running.
'He's just getting better, and this week training has been more difficult – closer to rugby. Every day he's learning, and the best thing for us to do is put him out there and give him the best learning he can on the run.'
With Baden Kerr out with a wrist injury, Kirwan said it was a straight decision between Marshall and Chris Noakes as to who would start against the Highlanders.
Blues – 15 Charles Piutau, 14 Frank Halai, 13 George Moala, 12 Francis Saili, 11 Lolagi Visinia, 10 Benji Marshall, 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 Sam Prattley.
Subs: 16 Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 17 Greg Pleasants-Tate, 18 Tom McCartney, 19 Angus Ta'avao, 20 William Lloyd, 21 Patrick Tuipulotu, 22 Kane Barrett, 23 Jordan Manihera, 24 Brendon O'Connor, 25 Bryn Hall, 26 Chris Noakes, 27 Simon Hickey, 28 Jackson Willison, 29 Tevita Li, 30 Albert Nikora.
Photo: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images