Super Rugby 2020: Rieko Ioane returns for Blues against Stormers

The Blues will welcome Rieko Ioane back into the fold for their clash with the unbeaten Stormers in Cape Town on Sunday (NZ time).

The All Black has made a quicker recovery than expected from the fractured hand suffered in the opening round loss to the Chiefs.

He'll combine with TJ Faiane in the midfield, who gets a start after coming off the bench during last week's win over the Bulls.

Those are the only significant changes from the team that shone in Pretoria last weekend. 

England international Joe Marchant moves to the right wing for his fifth straight start, while Sam Nock gets his first opportunity in the No.9 jersey, with Jonathan Ruru shifting to the bench.

In the forwards, hooker James Parson's shoulder injury gives Kurt Eklund his second start, with exciting North Harbour prospect, Luteru Tolai coming into the reserves as a replacement.

Blues coach Leon MacDonald said his side would need to produce another 80-minute performance if they're to become the first team to get the better of the Stormers.

"They are unbeaten this season and pose threats across the park," said MacDonald. 

"We need to concentrate on our core roles, securing set phase and winning the battle at the breakdown.

"We were patient last week and stuck to our game plan which was crucial. We have had a good week in preparation at altitude and hope we can reap some rewards for that coming back down to sea-level at Cape Town."

Blues: 1-Karl Tu'inukuafe, 2-Kurt Eklund, 3-Sione Mafileo, 4-Patrick Tuipulotu, 5-Jacob Pierce, 6-Tom Robinson, 7-Dalton Papalii, 8-Hoskins Sotutu, 9-Sam Nock, 10-Otere Black, 11-Mark Telea, 12-TJ Faiane, 13-Rieko Ioane, 14-Joe Marchant, 15-Stephen Perofeta

Reserves: 16-Luteru Tolai, 17-Marcel Renata, 18-Ofa Tuungafasi, 18-Aaron Carroll, 20- Blake Gibson, 21-Jonathan Ruru, 22-Harry Plummer, 23-Matt Duffie