Xavier Rush has been named on the Cardiff Blues bench for the clash with Connacht.
Talismanic number eight Rush suffered a shoulder injury in pre-season and was expected to be out until at least next month.
And while Rush is back ahead of schedule, there is also returns from injury for Richie Rees and Deiniol Jones.
The Blues have made a stuttering start in the Magners League but coach Dai Young insists they are determined to bounce back from last week's 28-20 defeat at Munster.
Young said: "That was probably the best we've played all season. If we play like that week-in, week-out we'll win a lot more than we lose.
"All we can do now is build on the performance at Musgrave Park for the visit of Connacht to the Arms Park."
Wales prop Gethin Jenkins misses out with a neck injury and joins Tom James, Martyn Williams, Rhys Williams and Sam Warburton on the sidelines.
The Blues will defend an unbeaten record at the Arms Park which stretches back to January while Connacht have not won in Cardiff since 2001.
Blues: Leigh Halfpenny; Richard Mustoe, Jamie Robinson, Jamie Roberts, Gareth Thomas; Ceri Sweeney, Jason Spice; John Yapp, T Rhys Thomas, Gary Powell, Deiniol Jones, Paul Tito (capt), Maama Molitika, Andy Powell, Robin Sowden-Taylor.
Replacements: Taufa'ao Filise, Rhys Williams, Scott Morgan, Xavier Rush, Richie Rees, Nicky Robinson, Tom Shanklin.
Connacht: F Carr; A Wynne, J Hearty, M Deane, M Roberts; A Dunne, F Murphy; J Lyne, A Flavin, R Morris; A Browne, M Swift; J Muldoon (C), J O'Connor, C Rigney.
Replacements: S Cronin, R Loughney, A Farley, M McCarthy, K Campbell, I Keatley, L Bibo.
WRU TV were on hand at the launch of a major new commercial deal with WRU and Mercedes-Benz South Wales (part of the Sinclair Group), which sees the family company become an official supplier to the Welsh Rugby Union
On the back of the recent Women's Rugby World Cup, the WRU has launched a revitalised Women's and Girls domestic seasonal structure, and the future is looking bright.
Go to www.wru.co.uk/tryourgame for more information
Roger Lewis talks to WRU TV at the announcement of a new £60 million Rugby Services Agreement (RSA) which provides a new and positive contractual relationship between the WRU and its four Regions for the next six years has been agreed.
The Welsh Rugby Union has announced a major new sponsorship deal with Gullivers Sports Travel which will make the UK's leading, and longest established, multi-sport tour operator, an Official Supplier for the rest of the decade.
Having taken part in seven World Cups as a player and coach, Liza Burgess hopes to go out in style this afternoon when Wales take on Australia in the Play-off for seventh and eighth place in the Women's Rugby World Cup in Paris.