The All Blacks halfback Andrew Ellis is set to make his first appearance for Canterbury this season being named in the reserves to play Northland in Whangarei on Friday night.
Ellis has been out of action since fracturing ribs in the Tri Nations loss to Australia in Sydney.
The incumbent halfback Tyson Keats has been ruled out with an ankle strain so Canterbury's second string No.9, Steve Alfeld, will make his run-on debut with Ellis set to be introduced early in the second half.
Other changes see Tim Bateman back at second five-eighth for Ryan Crotty, who suffered a likely season-ending leg injury against North Harbour, while prop Campbell Johnstone has left for France and will be replaced by Owen Franks.
Captain and blindside flanker Kieran Read, will start off the bench with openside Hayden Hopgood taking his position and George Whitelock on the opnside.