With halfback Piri Weepu and first five-eighths Chris Noakes both back in New Zealand nursing injuries, Jamison Gibson-Park and Baden Kerr step into the playmaking roles.
Utility back Marty McKenzie and halfback Wayne Ngaluafe flew over from New Zealand earlier this week and will provide cover on the bench.
Rene Ranger is named on the left wing in place of George Moala, who drops to the bench, while Sam Prattley starts ahead of Tim Perry at loosehead prop.
After a last-minute loss to the Sharks last weekend, the Blues need a victory over the Cheetahs and will also have to defeat the table-topping Chiefs in their final game to have any chance of making the playoffs.
Blues team v Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Sunday morning (NZT):
Charles Piutau, Frank Halai, Jackson Willison, Francis Saili, Rene Ranger, Baden Kerr, Jamison Gibson-Park, Peter Saili, Luke Braid, Steven Luatua, Ali Williams (c), Anthony Boric, Angus Ta’avao, James Parsons, Sam Prattley.
Reserves: Keven Mealamu, Ofa Tu’ungafasi, Culum Retallick, Brendon O’Connor, Wayne Ngaluafe, Marty McKenzie, George Moala.