All Blacks centre Ma'a Nonu won't be making his Blues debut this weekend, as he takes a breather from rugby before launching himself into Super Rugby.
The 29-year-old has only recently returned to New Zealand from Japan, where he played 12 matches for Ricoh Black Rams in the Japanese Top League.
Nonu left to join up with his Ricoh teammates shortly after the World Cup and is taking a short break to let his body recover before be pulls on a Blues jersey.
Rugby fans would have been interested to see Nonu go head-to-head with Sonny Bill Williams on Friday when the Blues tackle the Chiefs, but the powerful inside centre isn't ready for action.
"I don't think I'm in shape really," Nonu told Allblacks.com.
"I probably could have [played on Friday] if they had needed me. I probably needed a couple of weeks break really, for the team's sake."
Nonu is targeting the Blues' trip to South Africa for his first appearance for the Auckland franchise, where they will face the Bulls and Stormers on the road.
"I knew that I wouldn't have a break during the Ricoh stint and I had to quickly think about getting into the transition of playing right through," he said.
Blues coach Pat Lam is happy to let Nonu take a few weeks to prepare if that means he will have the All Blacks star firing on all cylinders when he runs on for the first time.
"I'm grateful to Pat, giving me a couple of weeks' off," Nonu added. "I'm trying to work my way in slowly, trying to maybe get rid of a few niggles that I have and getting my fitness up to speed."
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