Five Highlanders have been named in the All Blacks Rugby Championship squad, while several high-profile players have been left out.
Dejected and searching for answers, Tana Umaga could do no more than attempt to shoulder the blame after the Blues shock loss to the Sunwolves.
If the Blues expected an end-of-season overseas jaunt against outclassed opponents, they emerged sadly mistaken.
Piri Weepu will start at first-five against his former Hurricanes team at Eden park on Friday night.
The Blues have failed to make it two from two in South Africa, losing to the Stormers 27-17 in Cape Town this morning.
David Raikuna is the latest Blues player added to a lengthy injury list, with the wing forced to pull out of their Super Rugby game against the Stormers in Cape Town tomorrow morning (NZT) with a hamstring strain.
The Blues' 29-14 defeat to the Chiefs at Waikato Stadium last night has been compounded by news wing Rudi Wulf and loose forward Jerome Kaino picked up injuries that will prevent them heading to South Africa with the rest of the squad today.
There was always going to be one team leaving Waikato Stadium contemplating a horrible start to their 2012 campaign.
In the blink of one round of Super 15, franchise neighbours the Blues and Chiefs face a Friday night funk in Hamilton.
The Quade Cooper-inspired Queensland Reds closed in on their first Super rugby title by ending the Blues quest for a fourth championship at Suncorp Stadium last night.
Blues first five-eighth Stephen Brett today confirmed he will play his rugby in Japan next year after signing a two-year contract with the Toyota Verblitz club.
The Blues team has been named to play the Queensland Reds in a Super 15 semifinal in Brisbane on Saturday night.
The Blues are still in business, poised for another sudden-death Super 15 match overseas after their elimination finals 26-13 win against the Waratahs.
For once, NSW's State of Origin players can head into a weekend of NRL matches without one eye on their spots in the Blues' side.
Josh Holmes was today picked to start at halfback for the injury-hit New South Wales Waratahs in their Super 15 rugby semifinal qualifier against the Blues in Auckland tomorrow night.
The stakes might have gone up, but the Blues are looking to avoid the over-cautious route in their sudden-death Super 15 rugby semifinal qualifier against the New South Wales Waratahs in Auckland tomorrow night.
Blues coach Pat Lam can not get away from the Waratahs.
Photos from the Highlanders' Super 15 clash against the Blues at Eden park in Auckland on Friday night. The Blues won 33-16.
The Blues today made two injury-related changes to their starting side for their final regular season Super 15 match against the Highlanders in Auckland on Friday night.