Benji Marshall has backed the Blues' decision to put him on the bench for his Super Rugby debut, saying he's not ready to wear the No.10 jersey.
The former Kiwis rugby league skipper and Wests Tigers star will cover five-eighth and fullback against the Highlanders in Dunedin on Saturday night.
Chris Noakes, who has made a good recovery from off-season neck surgery, has been given the No.10 jersey against his former side.
The other playmaking option, Baden Kerr, is sidelined with a hand injury.
Marshall played mainly at first five during the Blues' pre-season programme, but admits he was happy with only one of the three spells he had there.
"I've learnt something new in every trial but I've still got a lot to learn," he said.
"As much as I would love to start, I don't feel like I'm the best person for the job at the moment."
While happy to operate at fullback and also cover the midfield positions if needed, Marshall still saw himself as a first five long-term.
He said the challenge for him was understanding the role better so he didn't have to keep thinking about it and could just go out and play.
Marshall played rugby as a teenager before going on to spend 11 seasons with the Tigers.
The 28-year-old said he thought there would be a lot of similarities between the codes when he decided to make the switch from the NRL, but had found that wasn't the case.
"It's just about being honest," he said.
"I'm not ready for 10 at Super Rugby level yet. When I am, and if I'm the best person for that position, I'll be there, but for now I'm not."
Coach John Kirwan said he was confident Marshall would do the job required when he came on the field.
"I wouldn't put him on the bench if I didn't think he could add to the football team," he said.
"I'm confident that he's ready to go, but just not quite ready to start."