The Blues coach Pat Lam has named six new players in his side to play the Hurricanes in tomorrow night's Super 14 rugby season opener at Albany, including his new half-back-first five-eighth combination.
Alby Mattheson and Stephen Brett were recruited frorm the Hurricanes and Crusaders to fill the problem positions for the Blues, who finished ninth last season.'
The other newcomers are No 8, Viliami Ma'afu, who gets gets his Super 14 debut, and the openside flanker Serge Lilo who's played for the Chiefs and the Hurricane and will make his first appearance for the Blues,
Lock Filo Paulo and former Hurricane first five Daniel Kirkpatrick are in the bench while lock Ali Williams and backs George Pisi, Anthony Tuitavake and Luke McAlister were unavailable because of injury.
The team is: Rudi Wulf, Rene Ranger, Isaia Toeava, Benson Stanley, Joe Rokocoko, Stephen Brett, Alby Mathewson, Viliami Ma'afu, Serge Lilo, Jerome Kaino, Anthony Boric, Kurtis Haiu, John Afoa, Keven Mealamu (c), Tony Woodcock.