Patrick Tuipolotu

All Blacks Patrick Tuipulotu and Jerome Kaino bolster Blues bench for clash with Chiefs

Blues coach Tana Umaga named an unchanged starting XV after their impressive opening round demolition of the Melbourne Rebels last Thursday.

But he's been quick to add some star power to his impact options for the juicy second round clash with the Chiefs.

Umaga has six All Blacks, a Maori All Black and a New Zealand under-20s player on his bench.

This derby is usually a high-octane affair that often goes right down to the wire. Substitutions are sure to be hugely influential.

All Black lock Patrick Tuipulotu MIA for Blues

Tuipulotu toured the Northern Hemisphere with the national side last November, starting against Ireland in Chicago and then against Italy in Rome but the giant second rower returned home a week early, along with injured flanker Sam Cane and utility back Ben Smith, for what coach Steve Hansen described at the time as "personal reasons".

Since then, all the tourists have been serving a mandatory 12-week stand-down between seasons. They are due back with the Super Rugby franchises next week to begin pre-season training.