And with five of their remaining seven games coming against teams below them in the table, the Dragons will fancy their chances of overtaking the Scarlets by the end of the season and perhaps even pushing the fourth-placed Ospreys close in the quest to finish as the top Welsh region.
They take on Connacht on the back of a disappointing 38-8 defeat at high-flying Ulster but their previous fixture produced a thrilling comeback win against Glasgow on February 23. The Dragons fought back from a substantial deficit thanks to quick-fire tries from Cory Hill and Ross Wardle to run out 24-23 winners against the Warriors and a similar result this weekend could close the gap on the Scarlets to as little as three points depending on how they fare against on Saturday night.
Jones makes 10 personnel changes from the side that lost in Belfast as he welcomes back wing Tom Prydie after an extended absence with an ankle injury, while Dan Evans starts at full back following his five-week ban for a dangerous tackle in the LV= Cup defeat to Newcastle.
"It's a big relief being able to play this weekend -no one likes to be out with a ban," said Evans. "I've had a good five weeks of hard training so I just can't wait to get back onto the field now and play. I feel refreshed after this time out and hopefully I can bring some energy to the game."
Wales lock Andrew Coombs captains the side having missed out on the national squad for the win over Scotland after featuring in the first four RBS 6 Nations games. No8 Taulupe Faletau, who played every minute of his country's Championship campaign, is named among the replacements, with Jones opting to start Lewis Evans, Nic Cudd and Netani Talei in the back row.
The Dragons are unable to call upon Hallam Amos, T. Rhys Thomas, Adam Jones, Dan Way, Cory Hill, Steffan Jones and Jonathan Evans, though, are the latter two are expected to be fit for next week's trip to Zebre.
Connacht have had the upperhand when these two teams have met in recent seasons, with the Dragons winning just one of their last five encounters. Pat Lam's men head to Rodney Parade in high spirits, too, after victories in their last three league fixtures against Edinburgh and both Italian outfits. A fourth on Sunday would be the first time they have reached that milestone since the 2002/03 season.
Lam names an unchanged side from the one that beat Treviso as they look for successive away wins for the first time in nine years.
Newport Gwent Dragons: Daniel Evans, Tom Prydie, Ross Wardle, Jack Dixon, Will Harries, Jason Tovey, Richie Rees; Owen Evans, Hugh Gustafson, Bruce Douglas, Andrew Coombs (capt), Rob Sidoli, Lewis Evans, Nic Cudd, Netani Talei
Replacements: Elliot Dee, Phil Price, Duncan Bell, Matthew Screech, Taulupe Faletau, Wayne Evans, Ashley Smith, Matthew Pewtner
Connacht: Robbie Henshaw; Tiernan O'Halloran, Eoin Griffin, Dave McSharry, Fionn Carr; Dan Parks, Kieran Marmion; Denis Buckley, Jason Harris-Wright, Rodney Ah You; Aly Muldowney, Mick Kearney; John Muldoon (capt), Eoghan Masterson, Eoin McKeon
Replacements: Dave Heffernan, Ronan Loughney, Nathan White, Michael Swift, Andrew Browne, Frank Murphy, Miah Nikora, Darragh Leader