All Blacks loose forward Jerome Kaino has been named captain of the Blues for the 2015 Super Rugby season.
Blues coach Sir John Kirwan has retained the bulk of the squad from last season with the addition of halfback Jimmy Cowan and the addition of lock Josh Bekhuis from the Highlanders.
The Chiefs have 21 players returning from last season with the noteable inclusions Sonny Bill Williams and Hosea Gear, while midfielder Seta Tamanivalu is promoted after impressing in Taranaki's run to the ITM Cup Premiership.
Chiefs coach Dave Rennie says they believe they've assembled a squad high in character with impact, depth and versatility.
Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder has 26 players returning, two have been promoted from the wider training group, while there are four new players, and one of those is midfielder Robbie Fruean who is back after spending a season with the Chiefs.
They've also added hooker Ged Robinson who will add some experience after the loss of Corey Flynn overseas.
The Highlanders have picked up a number of players from ITM squads.
The front row has been reinforced with the additions of props Pingi Tala'apitaga (BOP), Ross Geldenhuys (Tasman), Josh Hohneck (Waikato), Brendon Edmonds (Hawke's Bay) and hooker Ash Dixon (Hawke's Bay).
Alex Ainley (Tasman) and Mark Reddish (Wellington) have been added to the lock stocks and loose forward Dan Pryor (Northland) rounds out the new forwards.
Waisake Naholo (Taranaki) and Marty Banks (Tasman) are the only new players in the backs and both had stand-out ITM Cup seasons.
Highlanders' coach Jamie Joseph says the new players will all contribute positively to the environment.
Meanwhile the Hurricanes will start the 2015 season with a new coach and a reinforced midfield.
The coach Chris Boyd says the return of Ma'a Nonu and Reynold Lee-Lo in the midfield were key additions to the Hurricanes roster, while new signings Willis Halaholo and Vince Aso will provide depth in that area.
As well as Halaholo and Aso there are four additional new faces in the squad, including the locks Christian Lloyd and Geoffrey Cridge, Taranaki's Iopu Iopu-Aso and fullback Jason Woodward.
Manawatu's Callum Gibbins, Nehe Milner-Skudder, and Chris Eves have all been promoted to full contracts from wider training group status last year, following strong ITM Cup campaigns with the Championship-winning Turbos.
Blues (*new for 2015)
Forwards: Josh Bekhuis (Southland), Luke Braid (Auckland), Joe Edwards (Auckland), Charlie Faumuina (Auckland), Blake Gibson (Auckland), Jerome Kaino (Auckland, captain), Will Lloyd (Auckland), Steven Luatua (Auckland), Keven Mealamu (Auckland), Matt Moulds (Northland), Brendon O'Connor (Hawkes Bay), James Parsons (North Harbour), Greg Pleasants-Tate (North Harbour), Sam Prattley (Auckland), Culum Retallick (Bay of Plenty), Peter Saili (Auckland), Angus Ta'avao (Taranaki), Hayden Triggs (North Harbour), Patrick Tuipulotu (Auckland), Ofa Tu'ungafasi (Auckland), Tony Woodcock (North Harbour).
Backs: Pita Ahki (North Harbour), Dan Bowden (Northland), Jimmy Cowan (Tasman), Jamison Gibson-Park (Taranaki), Frank Halai (Counties Manukau), Bryn Hall (North Harbour), Simon Hickey (Auckland), Ben Lam (Auckland), Tevita Li (North Harbour), George Moala (Auckland), Melani Nanai (Auckland), Hamish Northcott (Manawatu), Charles Piutau (Auckland), Francis Saili (Auckland), Matt Vaega (North Harbour), Lolagi Visinia (Auckland), Ihia West (Hawkes Bay).
Forwards: Ben Afeaki, Michael Allardice*, Johan Bardoul*, Sam Cane, Mike Fitzgerald, Mitchell Graham*, Nathan Harris, Tevita Koloamatangi, Michael Leitch, Pauliasi Manu, Rhys Marshall, Quentin MacDonald*, Jamie Mackintosh, Liam Messam, Sean Polwart *, Brodie Retallick, Liam Squire, Matt Symons, Ben Tameifuna, Siate Tokolahi*, Maama Vaipulu*.
Backs: Aaron Cruden, Leon Fukofuka*, Hosea Gear*, Bryce Heem*, Andrew Horrell, Anton Lienert-Brown, James Lowe, Tom Marshall, Damian McKenzie, Marty McKenzie*,
Charlie Ngatai, Augustine Pulu, Toni Pulu*, Seta Tamanivalu*, Brad Weber, Sonny Bill Williams, Tim Nanai-Williams.
Forwards: Kane Hames, Pingi Tala'apitaga, Ma'afu Fia, Ross Geldenhuys, Josh Hohneck, Brendon Edmonds, Liam Coltman, Ash Dixon, Tom Franklin, Joe Wheeler, Alex Ainley, Mark Reddish, Dan Pryor, Gareth Evans, John Hardie, Shane Christie, Nasi Manu, Elliot Dixon
Backs: Aaron Smith, Fumiaki Tanaka, Marty Banks, Lima Sopoaga, Hayden Parker, Trent Renata, Shaun Treeby, Jason Emery, Malakai Fekitoa, Richard Buckman, Waisake Naholo, Patrick Osborne, Ben Smith, Kurt Baker
Forwards: Scott Barrett, Dominic Bird, Wyatt Crockett, Owen Franks, Ben Funnell, Nepo Laulala, Richie McCaw, Joe Moody, Tim Perry, Kieran Read, Ged Robinson, Luke Romano, Jordan Taufua, Codie Taylor, Matt Todd, Jimmy Tupou, Luke Whitelock, Sam Whitelock.
Backs: Dan Carter, Ryan Crotty, Israel Dagg, Mitchell Drummond, Andy Ellis, Kieron Fonotia, Robbie Fruean, Willi Heinz, Johnny McNicholl, Jone Macilai, Nemani Nadolo, Colin Slade, Tom Taylor, Nafi Tuitavake.
Forwards: Ben Franks, Mark Abbott , Geoffrey Cridge* (Hawke's Bay), Dane Coles, Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, Jeremy Thrush, Brad Shields, Ardie Savea, Victor Vito, Reggie Goodes, Motu Matu'u, John Schwalger, Christian Lloyd* (Wellington), Callum Gibbins, Chris Eves, (Manawatu), James Broadhurst, Iopu Iopu-Aso*, Blade Thomson (Taranaki).
Backs: TJ Perenara, Julian Savea, Ma'a Nonu, Conrad Smith, Cory Jane, Jason Woodward*, Matt Proctor (Wellington), Nehe Milner-Skudder (Manawatu), Beauden Barrett, James Marshall, Chris Smylie (Taranaki), Vince Aso* (Auckland), Reynold Lee-Lo (Counties Manukau), Willis Halaholo* (Southland).