James Parsons is disappointed he won’t get to lock horns with Pumas hooker Agustin Creevy when he leads the Blues against Super Rugby newcomers the Jaguares.
Skipper Creevy is among 10 players the Jaguares have left at home for a two-week rest after a start to the season that has included a trip to South Africa.
The group will miss the matches against the Blues in Auckland on Saturday night and the Hurricanes in Wellington the following week.
Parsons rated Creevy as among the best hookers in the world along with All Black Dane Coles and Springbok Adriaan Strauss.
“I was obviously disappointed,” he said of being told about Creevy’s absence.
“You like to match yourself against the best. It would have been an exciting day for me, but hopefully we can meet each other at another stage.”
The Jaguares will head to QBE Stadium in Albany with a 1-3 record, although all three losses have been by bonus-point margins.
Parsons, standing in as captain for the injured Jerome Kaino, has been impressed with the Jaguares.
“They like to offload, they like to play a fast brand of footy and they love the set piece,” he said.
“We know what’s coming. We just have to match fire with fire.”
The Blues, having had a bye, are looking to build momentum into their own campaign.
After beginning with a morale-boosting win over the defending champion Highlanders, they have stalled with two losses and a draw to sit bottom of the New Zealand conference.
Parsons wouldn’t be drawn on whether he thought the Jaguares were taking the Blues lightly with the squad they had brought with them.