All Blacks Piri Weepu, Ali Williams and Ma’a Nonu have all been relegated to the reserve bench for the Blues' clash against the Highlanders at Eden Park on Saturday.
Following on from the All Blacks training camp in Auckland last weekend, Blues coach Pat Lam has opted to give the Rugby World Cup-winning trio a break, while also injecting some much-needed youthful energy into the side.
This week brings no positive news on the Blues' injury front as stalwarts Keven Mealamu, Rudi Wulf and Rene Ranger continue to battle their respective injuries and will not make their returns to the playing field for this weekend's match-up.
With eleven Blues players now ruled out due to injury thus far this season, Lam has been forced to make several additional changes to his line-up for this weekend's clash.
Benson Stanley has become the latest casualty, having sustained a head knock during the Blues' 59-12 defeat to the Crusaders, while George Moala will sit out for the remainder of the season, after undergoing surgery for a cut hand this week. Sherwin Stowers comes in on the left wing to replace Stanley.
Meanwhile, hooker James Parsons and centre Francis Saili will replace Tom McCartney and Ma'a Nonu respectively, and both make their run-on debuts for the Blues this weekend.
1. Tony Woodcock, 2. James Parsons, 3. Tevita Mailau, 4. Liaki Moli, 5. Filo Paulo, 6. Steven Luatua, 7. Luke Braid (c) / Daniel Braid, 8. Peter Saili / Luke Braid, 9. Alby Mathewson, 10. Gareth Anscombe, 11. Sherwin Stowers, 12. Michael Hobbs, 13. Francis Saili, 14. David Raikuna, 15. Hadleigh Parkes.
Replacements: 16. Tom McCartney, 17. Angus Ta'avao, 18. Ali Williams, 19. Daniel Braid / Peter Saili / Dan Pryor, 20. Piri Weepu, 21. Ma'a Nonu, 22. Lachie Munro.