There are a number of changes from the team that beat the Crusaders in Oamaru last Friday, with Nasi Manu, Josh Bekhuis and Hayden Parker joining the starting side.
In the forwards, Jarrad Hoeata moves to loose-head lock and Bekhuis joins him as locking partner.
Manu, returning from injury, replaces Elliot Dixon at number 8.
Parker comes in at first five eighth in the only change to the backline that took the field against the Crusaders .
Highlanders v Blues, Recreation Ground, Queenstown - 5.30pm tomorrow
Tony Woodcock, Breayden Mitchell, Ma'afu Fia, Jarrad Hoeata, Josh Bekhuis, Joe Wheeler, John Hardie, Nasi Manu, Aaron Smith, Hayden Parker, Hosea Gear (c), Ma'a Nonu, Phil Burleigh, Kade Poki, Buxton Popoalii.
Reserves: Jason Emery, Fumiaki Tanaka, Shaun Treeby, Trent Renata, Frae Wilson, Hugh Blake, Tim Boys, Liam Coltman, Tom Franklin, Paul Grant, Chris King, Jamie Mackintosh, Bronson Murray.