Super Rugby 2019: Tom Robinson returns for Blues against Chiefs

The Blues have made some minor tweaks to their team for their 'Battle of the Bombays' Super Rugby clash with the Chiefs at Eden Park on Saturday.

Most of the run-on side that lost to the Hurricanes last week has been retained, with Scott Scrafton claiming a start at lock.

Injury has forced halfback Sam Nock (finger) and wing Taniela Tele'a (foot) out of action, replaced by Jonathan Ruru and Caleb Clarke respectively.

Meanwhile, the Blues receive a welcome boost, with the return of workhorse flanker Tom Robinson, who will make his comeback from concussion off the bench, behind Dalton Papali'i.

In order to address problems with the team's finishing, All Blacks prop Karl Tu'inukuafe will be used as an impact player off the pine, with Alex Hodgman stepping in to start at loosehead.

"He can come off the bench and do a good job for us there," said head coach Leon MacDonald. "it just allows us to continue with applying that set piece pressure."

The Blues are now mired at the bottom of the NZ conference, but could leap back ahead of the fourth-placed Chiefs with a win this weekend.

The Hamilton-based franchise got the better of their northern neighbours 33-29 in their first encounter of the season at FMG Stadium.

MacDonald said there was extra bite to this week's training, as they looked to square the ledger and get back into the win column, after four straight defeats.

"We feel we are really close to achieving the complete performance," said MacDonald. "This team continues to impress me with their heart and determination."

Blues: 1-Alex Hodgman, 2-James Parsons, 3-Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 4-Patrick Tuipulotu, 5-Scott Scrafton, 6-Dalton Papalii, 7-Blake Gibson, 8-Akira Ioane, 9-Jonathan Ruru, 10-Harry Plummer, 11-Rieko Ioane, 12-Ma'a Nonu, 13-TJ Faiane, 14-Caleb Clarke, 15-Melani Nanai

Reserves: 16-Matt Moulds, 17-Lua Li, 18- Karl Tu'inukuafe, 19-Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 20-Tom Robinson, 21-Augustine Pulu, 22-Otere Black, 23-Matt Duffie