The absence of enduring lock Josh Bekhuis is the notable omission from the Blues team to take on South African front runners, the Lions in Johannesburg on Sunday (NZ time).
Bekhuis tweaked his calf in the win over the Kings in Port Elizabeth, with the injury not improving sufficiently to play.
It will be the first game that the Super Rugby centurion has missed this year for the Blues, with the aggressive Hoani Matenga to take his place for his third start in the last five games.
With an expected major battle upfront, All Black Charlie Faumuina returns to start in the front row alongside the in-form Sam Prattley and skipper James Parsons.
Robust loose forward Joe Edwards moves into the reserves with Steven Luatua providing the lock cover.
The backline remains unchanged from last week’s game against the Kings.
The match kicks off at 5:05am NZ time on Sunday.
The Blues team is:
Sam Prattley, James Parsons ©, Charlie Faumuina, Patrick Tuipulotu, Hoani Matenga, Jerome Kaino, Tanerau Latimer, Steven Luatua; Bryn Hall, Ihaia West, Tevita Li, Piers Francis, George Moala, Melani Nanai, Lolagi Visinia.
Reserves: Quentin MacDonald, Nic Mayhew, Ofa Tu’ungafasi, Kara Pryor, Joe Edwards; Billy Guyton, Matt McGahan, Male Sau.