Auckland: All Blacks halfback Piri Weepu wasn't in shape at the start of the season and as a result hasn't done enough for the Blues, team captain Keven Mealamu says.
The Blues have underperformed in Super Rugby with just one win from six games and many people have pointed the finger at Weepu, recruited after falling out with Hurricanes coach Mark Hammett last year.
Mealamu, who admitted he was lacking confidence in his own game, says Weepu was needed by the Blues but his fitness was letting him down.
"He's probably not in the top condition that he's been in in his career and that's what we really need from him, to be at that top fitness level," he told Radio Sport on Wednesday.
"If he'd turned up in better condition then he'd be able to contribute more to us.
"That's something he's going to have to look at, we're going to have to look at as well. We're all professionals here, we should never have to turn up in that sort of shape."
Weepu has not had as much game time as might have been expected but Mealamu said the halfback was "a player that we can definitely do with out there".
Mealamu hasn't been in peak form himself and said he was "lacking a bit of confidence at the moment".
"I think that's across the board in our team. As the season's gone on, in lacking a bit of confidence, the boys have sort of made errors that we're all dropping our heads at the moment," he said.
"It hurts that I haven't been able to lead this team in getting those results. I don't think we've ever been in this position before."
Blues coach Pat Lam has also been under fire but Mealamu said the team backed him and were committed to performing for him.
The Blues play the Sharks at Eden Park on Friday night.