The Dragons head to Belfast on the back of probably their most impressive performance of the year following their second half demolition of a full-strength Leinster side at Newport last week, buoyed by the return of their captain.
Forster has missed the last two weeks with a jaw injury following a controversial clash with Llanelli's Scott Quinnell, that many felt warranted more than the yellow card that was shown to the former Wales No8, but is back to lead a near full-strength side.
In contrast, Ulster, unbeaten at home in all competitions last season, have already seen their Ravenhill fortress breeched twice in a muted start to the campaign including a first defeat to Welsh opposition in more than three years with the 37-24 loss to the high-flying Ospreys.
Those problems have worsened with the loss of skipper Ward through injury and Forster believes that will leave the Ulstermen with too large a gap to fill.
'Andy really is their talisman and someone who leads from the front. He's a big ball carrier who gets them going forward so losing him will be a big minus in their camp,' said Forster. 'We know that have not made the best of starts to the season and it is hard to remember the last time they lost two games in a row at home. So perhaps if we can get into them from the start and plant a seed of doubt in their minds in the first 20 minutes, we could get on a role.
'But we know what we are facing. They are a very tough team and will be desperate to put the record straight in front of their own fans. Ravenhill is very much like Rodney Parade (the Dragons' home ground), there's a lot of passion for the game and the support is pretty fanatical.'
Forster's return is the only new face in the Dragons side that took maximum points of Leinster last Friday night with Michael Owen moving back to the second row to replace Peter Sidoli.
Coach Chris Anderson, who won the Rugby League World Cup with Australia in 2001, said: 'We need to build from that performance. If we have intentions of being a good side then we not only need to beat strong teams but do it away from home.
'We're not going to Ravenhill to play fancy rugby and score the sort of tries we did against Leinster at home, we're just going their to win, that's all that matters.'
Ulster: B Cunningham; T Bowe, P Steinmetz, K Maggs, T Howe; D Humphreys (capt), K Campbell; S Best, P Shields, R Moore, G Longwell, M McCullough, C Feather, N Best, R Wilson
Replacements: N Brady, R McCormack, R Frost, M Mustchin, N Doak, P Wallace, J Bell
Dragons: K Morgan; G Wyatt, P Montgomery, S Tuipulotu, N Brew; C Sweeney, G Cooper; R Snow, S Jones, R Thomas, I Gough, M Owen, J Ringer, J Forster, R Bryan
Replacements: J Richards, A Black, G Robinson, P Sidoli, R Beattie, S Winn, G Baber
Referee: Malcolm Changleng (Scotland)