Championship pacesetters the Blues have kept faith in the squad that led them to the top of the table before last week's bye and of their four All Blacks, only hooker Kevan Mealamu is included in the match squad to face the New South Wales Waratahs - and he starts on the bench.
Tony Woodcock and Ali Williams will play club rugby at the weekend, while winger Joe Rokocoko misses out to recuperate from an ankle injury.
Coach David Nucifora said: "Right from the start, we've had a plan about how to go about this. Everyone in our group was aware it would take a few weeks to integrate the guys back."
Title-holders the Crusaders, meanwhile, will plunge all six of their internationals into the fray when the Stormers visit Christchurch.
Richie McCaw, outside halves Dan Carter and Aaron Mauger, full back Leon McDonald and forwards Chris Jack and Reuben Thorne are all set to start, though Corey Flynn will retain the captaincy ahead of McCaw.
Coach Robbie Deans said: "They're all keen to play. Some of them might not be able to go the full 80 at this stage of their preparation but the sooner we get them involved, the sooner we will get them up to full speed.
"It's very realistic to expect these guys' lungs to burn and it will be a very significant shock to them. To be honest, this will be our toughest game yet.
"They will be coming in cold. You just can't get match fitness in training.
"We have tried many ways to shortcut them but there is just nothing in training to prepare them for playing."