Piri Weepu will get his first opportunity to don the Blues jersey and marshal the backline from flyhalf when they take on the Rebels in Melbourne on Saturday.
After plenty of media speculation as to which position Weepu would slot into for the Blues this year, head coach Pat Lam said now was the time to see whether Weepu, who has on occasions played pivot for the All Blacks, could spark the Blues' backline into action.
"If we're going to try Piri at No.10 now is the time to do it and we'll see how he goes," Lam said.
"Michael Hobbs and Gareth Anscombe both did well at ten last week so now it's a chance for Piri to have a shot," the coach added.
Sniping scrumhalf Alby Mathewson will form a strong halfback axis with his former Hurricanes teammate, but with no reserve scrumhalf on the bench Weepu may well get an opportunity to play both positions during the pre-season encounter.
Weepu is joined by a number of big guns for the fixture - with fellow World Cup-winning All Blacks Ali Williams and Isaia Toeava also strapping on the boots for the first time this year.
Promising lock Liaki Moli will make his first appearance after overcoming a hamstring strain, while Daniel Braid has shrugged off an Achilles twinge to line-up at openside flank.
George Moala, Keven Mealamu and Luke Braid are all unavailable due to injury.
With 11 current or former All Blacks in the Blues squad that will make the trip to Melbourne, the Rebels will face a formidable opponent.
Rebels coach Damien Hill is under no illusions about the size of the task at hand, but believes playing such quality opposition is the best way to prepare for the gruelling season ahead.
"We've got a great test coming up against the Blues given their performances over the last couple of seasons and the quality of the squad they have at their disposal," said Hill.
"They're two games out from their first game of their Super Rugby season as well so we expected them to send a very strong team."
Despite last week's 0-36 defeat in the first trial game against the Chiefs, Hill hasn't deviated from the way the team is preparing for the season ahead.
"We haven't changed the way we've trained or prepared too much this week," said Hill.
"We haven't gone away from the basics, we're looking to build for the opening round.
"We have a number of things to test against the Blues, and they're a quality opposition to test ourselves against."
Centre Mitch Inman, flyhalf James Hilgendorf and hooker Adam Freier all return to the match day squad after missing last week's trial game through injury. Captain Stirling Mortlock will miss the game as he continues his recovery from a minor knee injury.
While last week's game was played over four 20-minute quarters, this week's game will return to the more customary format of two 40-minute halves.
Hill will change his team considerably from one half to the next.
First half: 15 Kurtley Beale, 14 Mark Gerrard, 13 Mitch Inman, 12 James O'Connor, 11 Cooper Vuna, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Gareth Delve, 7 Michael Lipman, 6 Tom Chamberlain, 5 Hugh Pyle, 4 Adam Byrnes, 3 Laurie Weeks, 2 Ged Robinson, 1 Nic Henderson.
Second half: 15 Julian Huxley, 14 Mark Gerrard, 13 Lloyd Johansson, 12 Lachlan Mitchell, 11 Cooper Vuna, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Richard Kingi, 8 Tim Davidson, 7 Luke Beauchamp, 6 Luke Jones, 5 James King, 4 Alister Campbell, 3 Rodney Blake, 2 Luke Holmes, 1 Eddie Aholelei.
Replacements for both halves - from: Luke Holmes, Adam Freier, Alister Campbell, Nic Henderson, Luke Jones, Gareth Delve, Lachlan Mitchell, Cadeyrn Neville, James Hilgendorf, Nick Phipps, Tim Davidson, Mitch Inman, Rodney Blake, Tom Chamberlain, Rex Taupauai, James Hilgendorf, Heath Tessman, Ethan Ford, Isaiah Mosese, Rex Taupauai, Heath Tessmann, Paul Alo Emile.
Blues: 15 Isaia Toeava, 14 David Raikuna, 13 Rene Ranger, 12 Michael Hobbs, 11 Sherwin Stowers, 10 Piri Weepu, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Jerome Kaino, 7 Daniel Braid, 6 Chris Lowrey, 5 Ali Williams, 4 Liaki Moli, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 Tom McCartney, 1 Tevita Mailau.
Replacements - from: Benson Stanley, Hadleigh Parkes, Lachie Munro, Rudi Wulf, Gareth Anscombe, Angus Ta'avao, Teofilo Paulo, Anthony Boric, Brad Mika, James Parsons, Dan Pryor, Peter Saili.
Date: Saturday, February 11
Venue: AAMI Park, Melbourne
Kick-off: 19.40 (08.40 GMT)
Referee: Andrew Lees (Australia)
Assistant referees: Julian Pritchard (Australia), Beau-Dean Gosper (Australia)
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