Hurricanes captain Conrad Smith has admitted that he will find it strange to see Ma'a Nonu running towards him in a Blues jersey rather than running alongside him.
For years Smith and Nonu formed a formidable Hurricanes midfield partnership which also featured for the All Blacks and occasionally Wellington.
However Nonu and his ex-Hurricanes team mate Piri Weepu have left Wellington and now play for the Blues and the pair get their first chance to play against their former team this weekend.
"I suppose it will be different with him (Nonu)," Smith acknowledged to Sportal.
"But we've chatted a bit already and you know he's going to be a handful while the game is going on.
"He is the opposition and you've just got to try and stop him and contain him."
"That's all we'll be worried about and after the game I'm sure we'll be mates again."
Nonu has a history of hot-headedness in matches when he feels he has a point to prove and is no stranger to the yellow card.
"I'm sure he'll be smarter than that," said the Hurricanes captain.
"He would only let his team down if that were to happen."
"That's what we all talk about as players. You've got to control your emotions sometimes.
"He's always been passionate and you know when anyone plays (against) teams they've been involved with they always play well.
"I've no doubt Piri and Ma'a will have big games. We've just got to make sure they are not too good."
Smith is looking forward to facing former Hurricanes team-mates as being a "nice little side note" in one of his favourite matches of the season.
"It's just enjoyable. It was one of the things that struck me when I first came to Wellington. "
"Even at age-grade playing Auckland sides they were just always great games," he said.
"There is never a sense of trying to stop the opposition playing. It's just backing your own game and that you're going to win.
"It's almost an attitude of they might score a few but we're going to score more rather than stopping them scoring which is sometimes the case when you play other teams."