Blues coach Tana Umaga has sprung his first surprise ahead of the 2018 Super Rugby season, naming halfback Augustine Pulu as his side's new captain.
Augustine Pulu of the Blues celebrates after scoring a try against the Bulls.
Pulu, 27, who joined the Blues from the Chiefs at the beginning of 2017, replaces James Parsons at the helm of the Auckland side.
With Parsons' ongoing injury issues and Jerome Kaino unavailable for the beginning of pre-season, Umaga says that it was important that his new skipper be available throughout his team's entire preparation campaign.
"Of course both James and Jerome will continue to play invaluable leadership roles in this team and will be key contributors in all aspects," Umaga said.
"Augie has proven captaincy experience in the Mitre 10 Cup and will add a fresh spark to the team."
Former All Blacks prop Ben Afeaki was also announced as the Blues' new scrum coach for 2018.
The Blues begin their pre-season in Auckland today, minus their All Blacks stars returning from their Northern Hemisphere tour.