Blues head coach Sir John Kirwan has made just one injury enforced change to the starting XV for Saturday’s match against the Chiefs in Mount Maunganui.
Angus Ta’avao will start at tighthead prop in place of Charlie Faumuina who tore his right calf against the Waratahs last week and is expected to be out of action for at least eight weeks.
Former New Zealand Under-20 prop Ofa Tu’ungafasi is poised to make his Super Rugby debut after being named on the bench.
“Ofa is still a young man, he’s getting better, he’s been very good for the Development squad but Angus has been great for us so it’s just a natural progression after the unfortunate injury to Charlie,” Kirwan said.
After consecutive losses against the Bulls and Waratahs, Kirwan said it was important for his side to rediscover their excitement levels.
“We just need to play our game, we want to get excited again and start playing the high tempo, high skill, high impact game which we haven’t done in the last two matches so let’s let the shackles off and get out there and enjoy it.”
Kirwan believed playing against the defending champions would bring out the best in his young team.
“If you can’t get motivated to play the current champions who are in our neighbourhood then get out of the game,” he said.
“This is why we play the game. The Chiefs, our neighbours, down there, they’re champions, we need to win ñ it doesn’t get any better than that.”
The Blues team to face the Chiefs at ASB Baypark Stadium, Mount Maunganui on Saturday night (kick-off 7.35pm) is