Blues Back Hobbs At 10
Michael Hobbs has been handed the number 10 jersey to face the Hurricanes at Westpac Stadium on Friday.
The Wellington flyhalf has been promoted from the bench to take on many of his provincial teammates in one of just three changes to the starting XV.
Rising star Gareth Anscombe has been dropped from the 22 altogether following a mixed performance against the Reds last week, with Lachie Munro set to provide cover on the bench.
"10 is quite an important general and this is part of Gareth's learning experience," Lam said.
"He’s 20-years-old and Tyler Bleyendaal is going through the same thing at the Crusaders. It’s a big thing to come through and run the game.
“It's a constant learning and I think that's one of the areas he is working on and I think this experience will hold him in good stead.
"Michael has been through quite a big transition and grieving process and he's coming out of that.
“He's been working hard at training, contributing, supporting Gareth and supporting others and he deserves his chance."
Lam has reshuffled his backline, with Benson Stanley returning to centre as Rene Ranger shifts out to the wing in place of Rudi Wulf who has failed to overcome an injured shoulder.
In the forwards, Keven Mealamu and Tony Woodcock have also been unable to shrug off their calf injuries as Tevita Mailau and Tom McCartney remain in the starting XV.
Captain Luke Braid shifts from blindside to openside flanker, with Chris Lowrey starting at blindside in place of Daniel Braid.
Unavailable due to injury: Keven Mealamu, Jerome Kaino, Isaia Toeava, Anthony Boric, Tony Woodcock, Rudi Wulf, Brad Mika.
The home side have named an unchanged starting 15 for the Blues match from the line-up that lost to the table topping Chiefs in Hamilton last weekend.
On the bench, Brad Shields returns from injury and slots into the number 18 jersey. Unavailable due to injury are James Broadhurst (side strain), Tusi Pisi (calf), Daniel Kirkpatrick (hamstring), Mark Reddish (ribs), Tristan Moran (neck) and Chris Smylie (shoulder).
Hurricanes: 15 Andre Taylor, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Conrad Smith (captain), 12 Tim Bateman, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Victor Vito, 7 Karl Lowe, 6 Faifili Levave, 5 Jason Eaton, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Ben May.
Replacements: 16 Motu Matu'u, 17 Reg Goodes, 18 Jack Lam, 19 Brad Shields, 20 Chris Eaton, 21 Charlie Ngatai, 22 Alapati Leiua.
Blues: 15 Hadleigh Parkes, 14 Rene Ranger, 13 Benson Stanley, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 George Moala, 10 Michael Hobbs, 9 Piri Weepu, 8 Peter Saili, 7 Luke Braid (captain), 6 Chris Lowrey, 5 Ali Williams, 4 Filo Paulo, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 Tom McCartney, 1 Tevita Mailau.
Replacements: 16 James Parsons, 17 Angus Ta'avao, 18 Liaki Moli, 19 Daniel Braid, 20 Alby Mathewson, 21 Lachie Munroe, 22 David Raikuna.