Head coach Dai Flanagan has made five changes to the side that lost to Pau in the European Challenge Cup last time out. It will be north Walian Nott’s his first appearance since the start of October as he partners Joe Davies in the second row.
Wales and British & Irish Lions back rower Ross Moriarty is also back in the starting line-up, with Aaron Wainwright moving across the back row to No 6 for a heavyweight battle along with skipper Harri Keddie against the visiting trio of Josh Turnbull, Thomas Young and Taulupe Faletau.
Irish playmaker JJ Hanrahan is handed the No 10 jersey, while there are also returns for full back Angus O’Brien and centre Steff Hughes. Prop Aki Seiuli is another change among the replacements.
“There’s been real excitement ahead of the game. Everyone wants to play, and we’ve seen an edge around the place,” said Flanagan.
“Cardiff have a fantastic squad, they have superstars all over the field. Their performances are getting better week by week and they are becoming a smart team.
“We need to make sure that physically and tactically we’re on point. We were really disappointed we lost to Pau last weekend and we need to improve.
“There is no better place to do that than in a massive Welsh derby. We’re all looking forward to a big game in front of a very vocal Rodney Parade crowd.”
Dragons: Angus O’Brien, Rio Dyer, Steff Hughes, Jack Dixon, Ashton Hewitt, JJ Hanrahan, Rhodri Williams; Rhodri Jones, Bradley Roberts, Chris Coleman, Joe Davies, George Nott, Aaron Wainwright, Harri Keddie (captain), Ross Moriarty
Reps: Brodie Coghlan, Aki Seiuli, Lloyd Fairbrother, Matthew Screech, Sean Lonsdale, Lewis Jones, Sam Davies, Sio Tomkinson
Unavailable: Gonzalo Bertranou (knee), Ben Carter (ankle), Elliot Dee (collarbone), Aneurin Owen (knee), Will Rowlands (shoulder), David Richards (hamstring)