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The Blues are the biggest boom or bust team in this year's competition. They have certainly acquired some good players in the offseason, but whether they can actually perform on the field will determine how far they will go.
Most notable of these is rugby league convert Benji Marshall. Arguably the most electric player in the NRL over the past decade, Marshall is a player capable of putting his outsides into gaps and bamboozling the defence with his elusive running.
However, rugby union is a very different game and how well his skills transfer will be one of the biggest questions of the early part of the season. If he does as well in union as he did in league, he could make the Blues a very dangerous team.
Outside him Ma'a Nonu returns after a disappointing year with the Highlanders in 2013. Despite his top form with the All Blacks over the past five years, Nonu has failed to fire at all in Super Rugby time and again and one must wonder if there is any reason this should change in 2014.
That being said, if he was to fire, he is a handful for defences and would make his team a whole lot better.
We also see the return of Tony Woodcock and Jerome Kaino, both players with tremendous reputations, but again, how they will fit in remains to be seen.
Woodcock is getting older and is not as prominent around the field as he used to be, while Kaino will have to adjust to the more physical nature of Super Rugby, after having played in Japan for the past two years.
Along with these men they retain the bulk of last year's team, with Rene Ranger and Ali Williams being the only notable losses. This is a good sign, as this was a young Blues team in 2013 and showed that they could grow into something quite special.
There is plenty of fire power in the back line, with Charles Piutau, Frank Halai and Francis Saili all impressing over the past 12 months, while the likes of Steven Luatua, Luke Braid and Charlie Faumuina will ensure they are a presence up front.
How far they go will come down to how well the new players fit in, making them the toughest team to place on these rankings.