Dalton Papalii

Papalii back as Blues captain

The team, returned to Auckland on Thursday from its temporary base in Queenstown, is almost the same combination that was pipped 33-32 in the first outing against the Hurricanes.

The only changes to the starting line-up sees Papalii back to full fitness on the openside flank, and NPC player of the year, Stephen Perofeta to start at fullback.

The pack has a strong look with Alex Hodgman, Nepo Laulala, Luke Romano, Hoskins Sotutu and Papalii all having worn the All Black jersey.

The rise of Dalton Papalii

He has been named to play openside flanker for the All Blacks in their test against Japan on Saturday - one of two new players, along with Wellington captain Matt Proctor, to start the test and with a further six making their debut off the bench.

He was also the only uncapped player named by coach Steve Hansen among the 32 players for the All Blacks' northern tour; a further 19 players are part of an expanded team to take on Japan.