There are only four new faces in a strong Blues squad named for next year's Super Rugby competition - former Hurricanes and current All Blacks Ma'a Nonu and Piri Weepu and rookies George Moala and David Raikuna.
There are 13 past or present All Blacks, among them New Zealand's 2011 IRB Player of the Year award nominees Nonu, Weepu and Jerome Kaino.
Among those missing from last season are John Afoa, Luke McAlister, Joe Rokocoko, Stephen Brett and Jared Payne, who're in Europe or Japan.
There can be up to 32 players in a squad but assistant coach Bryce Woodward says they've opted for 30 so they can fit under the salary cap.
The rest of the squad is: Gareth Anscombe, Daniel and Luke Braid, Anthony Boric, Charlie Faumuina, Michael Hobbs, Chris Lowrey, Tevita Mailau, Pauliasi Manu, Alby Matthewson, Tom McCartney, Keven Mealamu, Brad Mika, Liaki Moli, Lachie Munro, Filo Paulo, Rene Ranger, Peter Saili. Benson Stanley, Sherwin Stowers, Angus Ta'avao, Isaia Toeava, Ali Williams, Tony Woodcock, Rudi Wulf.