It is no easy task in the first round of matches in Super Rugby, and more so when you face the defending champions, the Crusaders.
That is exactly what is lying in front of the Blues this first week of the 2019 competition.
The last time the Blues played the Crusaders they let through four tries in the final 16 minutes of the match, but from the outside it looks the Blues will be better than that this weekend.
Sonny Bill Williams will be playing off the bench as coach Leon MacDonald named Ma’a Nonu and TJ Faiane as his midfield pair.
On the wings MacDonald has named Rieko Ioane and Melani Nanai with Otere Black and Johathan Ruru as halfbacks.
Akira Ioane, starting at No8, will be playing his 50th game for the Blues.
The Blues need some magic and will have to be clinic if they want to upset the Crusaders, but the Saders are at their most vulnerable at the start of the season, so maybe the best chance to face them in round 1.
Blues team: Michael Collins, Melani Nanai, Ma’a Nonu, TJ Faiane, Rieko Ioane, Otere Black, Jonathan Ruru, Akira Ioane, Dalton Papalii, Tom Robinson, Josh Goodhue, Patrick Tuipulotu ©, Sione Mafileo, James Parsons, Alex Hodgman.
Replacements:Matt Moulds, Karl Tu’inukuafe, Ofa Tuungafasi, Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, Matt Matich, Augustine Pulu, Harry Plummer, Sonny Bill Williams.