All Blacks Beauden Barrett and Dane Coles have been left out of the Hurricanes starting lineup for their season opening Super rugby match against the Sunwolves in Tokyo.
The duo have been named in the reserves with Otere Black to start at first-five while Ricky Riccitelli starts at hooker.
The Hurricanes head coach Chris Boyd said they want to manage the return of Barrett and Coles after a heavy playing schedule last year.
"Beauden and Dane are both following their return to play protocols and part of that is that they were always going to have a graduated entry into the Super Rugby season.
"They're both key guys for us and there is no benefit in pushing them any faster than we need to, but they'll both have a part to play in Tokyo."
Boyd has expressed his confidence in Black's ability to guide the side from first five.
"Otere was calling the shots right through the preseason and had a good handle on things before our All Blacks joined the group. We have every confidence in his abilities."
Black has played seven Super rugby games having made his debut in 2015 against the Melbroune Rebels in Wellington.
All Black halfback TJ Perenara doesn't get a graduated return as he's been named in the starting lineup and will captain the side in Coles absence.
Rookie Jordie Barrett will make his Super rugby debut starting at fullback after a hamstring injury ruled Nehe Milner-Skudder out.
Barrett, 20, won't be the only Hurricanes player on debut against the Sunwolves, with lock James Blackwell to start at lock and loose forward Reed Prinsep among the reserves.
Wellington's Blackwell will start alongside Michael Fatialofa in the second row, while Canterbury recruit Prinsep provides loose forward and lock cover from the bench.