The Blues have an experienced and home grown look about them as they launch their Super 15 pre season training before the Christmas break.
30 of the 32 named players, play their ITM Cup Rugby within the franchise.
Although no captain has been named yet All Black hooker Keven Mealamu looks poised for the job.
Other 2010 All Blacks in the squad include, fellow international front rowers John Afoa and Tony Woodcock. Lock Anthony Boric and the currently Nottingham based Ali Williams. Loose forwards Daniel Braid and Jerome Kaino. In the backs Alby Mathewson returns for his second season at the franchise along with Benson Stanley, Rene Ranger, Joe Rokocoko and Isaia Toeava.
Lam has introduced two exciting youngsters in Sherwin Stowers (wing) and Liaki Moli (lock).
The Blues also see the return of three old faces in Northland captain Jared Payne who returns after two successful years at the Crusaders and Daniel Braid form the Queensland Reds as well as former All Black Bradley Mika.
Today Pat Lam also named his wider training group and it includes New Zealand under-20 rugby players Angus Ta’avao-Matau and Sean Polwart and Auckland fly half Gareth Anscombe.
Also included are Northland midfielder back Aaron Bancroft and North Harbour lock James King as well as outside back Nafi Tuitavake.
Players named today for the Blues wider training group are:
Gareth Anscombe, Pauliasi Manu, Sean Polwart, Angus Ta’avao-Matau, Auvasa Faleali’i (all Auckland), James King and Nafi Tuitavake (North Harbour), Aaron Bancroft (Northland).
The Full Blues Squad for the 2011 Investec Super 15 :
Fullbacks: Jared Payne, Isaia Toeava
Wingers: Rene Ranger, Joe Rokocoko, Sherwin Stowers
Midfield: Luke McAlister, Benson Stanley, Winston Stanley
First five-eigths: Stephen Brett, Lachie Munro
Halfbacks: Alby Mathewson, Toby Morland, Chris Smylie
Loose forwards: Daniel Braid, Luke Braid, Jerome Kaino, Chris Lowrey, Matthew Luamanu, Brad Mika, Peter Saili
Locks: Anthony Boric, Kurtis Haiu, Liaki Moli, Filo Paulo, Ali Williams
Props: John Afoa, Charlie Faumuina, Tevita Mailau, Tony Woodcock
Hookers: Ash Dixon, Tom McCartney, Keven Mealamu
Super Rugby Honours
1996 Blues beat the Sharks 45 – 21
1997 Blues beat the Brumbies 23 – 7
1998 Blues lost to the Crusaders 13 – 21
2003 Blues beat the Crusaders 21 – 17