The Reds will be without two stars in Auckland - Izack Rodda and Izaia Perese both ruled out of the clash with the Blues.
Rodda copped a knock to the shoulder in the third June Test against Ireland and has subsequently been ruled out on the quick backup, though the Reds are hopeful he will be available for the clash with the Rebels on Friday week.
Perese's prognosis is not as favourable, re-injuring the same knee which has already hampered his season.
He is unlikely to play again this season, though it's understood the injury is not related to the partial ACL tear he suffered in the preseason.The star pair are two of four changes to the starting XV.
Harry Hockings will take Rodda's spot in the second row, with Lukhan Tui recalled at blindside flanker ahead of Angus Scott-Young.
Perese's absence opens up a spot for Eto Nabuli, who will play his first match for the club since round six.
Jono Lance also returns to the starting XV at fullback after being a late out prior to the loss to the Waratahs.
The bench takes a completely different shape - Harry Hoopert, Tate McDermott and Filipo Daugunu earning spots ahead of Sef Faagase, Liam Wright and Ben Lucas.
Reds team to face the Blues
1. JP Smith – GPS
2. Brandon Paenga-Amosa – Sunnybank
3. Taniela Tupou – Brothers
4. Harry Hockings – University of Queensland
5. Kane Douglas – Norths
6. Lukhan Tui – Souths
7. George Smith – Brothers
8. Scott Higginbotham (C) – Wests
9. Moses Sorovi – Wests
10. Hamish Stewart – Bond University
11. Eto Nabuli – Souths
12. Duncan Paia’aua – Norths
13. Samu Kerevi – Souths
14. Jordan Petaia – Wests
15. Jono Lance – University of Queensland
16. Alex Mafi – Bond University
17. Harry Hoopert – Brothers
18. Ruan Smith – GPS
19. Caleb Timu - Souths
20. Angus Scott-Young – University of Queensland
21. Tate McDermott – University of Queensland
22. Aidan Toua – Easts
23. Filipo Daugunu – Wests
The Reds face the Blues at Eden Park on Friday, kicking off at 5:35pm AEST, broadcast LIVE on FOX SPORTS.