The front row trio of Hugh Gustafson, Ben Castle and captain Tom Willis all start, while Gavin Thomas and Toby Faletau retain their places. Luke Charteris drops to the bench where he is joined by the returning Andrew Coombs. Steve Jones, Pat Palmer and Phil Price provide the front row cover.
In the backs Will Harries continues at full back, Adam Hughes and Aled Brew fill the wing berths, and Tom Riley partners Ashley Smith in the centre. Jason Tovey is the outside half, with Pat Leach and Mathew Jones among the replacements.
The Men of Gwent last faced Connacht in the opening fixture of this season, when they were soundly beaten 40-17 in Galway, but they have a strong home record against the Irish province, having won six of the previous seven encounters between the two sides played at Rodney Parade, most recently winning 23-10 in October 2009.
Connacht have selected a squad which sees a number of positional changes and two personnel changes. Sean Cronin, back from an IRFU imposed break (under the Player Welfare Management Programme), replaces Adrian Flavin at hooker in the starting lineup. Mike McComish has recovered from the illness that ruled him out of last weekend's clash against Leinster and he replaces Shane Conneely on the bench.
The rest of the pack remains unchanged with Academy star Eoin McKeon retaining his place at No 8 following an impressive display last weekend. The reshuffled backline sees the adaptable Ian Keatley move to fullback with former New Zealand Youths Troy Nathan, who qualifies for Ireland through residency, shift to the wing. Academy graduate Eoin Griffin moves to outside centre and he is joined on the wing by Fionn Carr, with Brian Tuohy providing cover from the bench.
Dragons: W Harries, A Hughes, T Riley, A Smith, A Brew, J Tovey, J Evans; H Gustafson, T Willis (c), B Castle, A Jones, R Sidoli, L Evans, G Thomas, T Faletau.
Replacements: S Jones, P Palmer, P Price, L Charteris, A Coombs, M Jones, M Petri, P Leach.
Connacht 15 Ian Keatley 14 Troy Nathan 13 Eoin Griffin 12 Keith Matthews 11 Fionn Carr 10 Miah Nikora 9 Cillian Willis; 1 Brett Wilkinson 2 Sean Cronin 3 Jamie Hagan 4 Michael Swift 5 Michael McCarthy 6 Andrew Browne 7 Johnny O'Connor 8 Eoin McKeon
Replacements: 16 Adrian Flavin 17 Rodney Ah You 18 Dylan Rogers 19 Bernie Upton 20 Mike McComish 21 Frank Murphy 22 Niva Ta'auso 23 Brian Tuohy