Academy prop Jack O'Connell, 22, will make his seventh Leinster appearance - and his first start - in a front row which includes Balbriggan's Jamie Hagan and Sean Cronin who is one of five Ireland internationals to return to the panel this week.
O'Connell has featured as a replacement in the province's last three wins over the Cardiff Blues, Benetton Treviso and the Scarlets.
Fergus McFadden partners the fit-again Brendan Macken in the centre, with full-back Luke Fitzgerald included in a a strong back-three alongside Fionn Carr and David Kearney.
Meanwhile, Ian Madigan, who makes his 23rd appearance of the season, links up with Eoin Reddan at half-back.
Shane Jennings leads the team and starts in a rejigged back row which includes Dominic Ryan and sees Rhys Ruddock switch to number 8.
Mark Flanagan, fresh from his seasonal debut last weekend, will feature alongside his cousin Devin Toner in the second row.
Jack McGrath, who has turned in some impressive displays in recent weeks, takes his place on a replacements bench which includes the likes of regular captain Leo Cullen and Eoin O'Malley.
Friday's match at Rodney Parade is not being televised. There will be live updates via the Leinster Rugby Twitter page - @leinsterrugby.
LEINSTER (v Newport Gwent Dragons): Luke Fitzgerald; David Kearney, Brendan Macken, Fergus McFadden, Fionn Carr; Ian Madigan, Eoin Reddan; Jack O'Connell, Sean Cronin, Jamie Hagan, Mark Flanagan, Devin Toner, Dominic Ryan, Shane Jennings (capt), Rhys Ruddock.
Replacements: Aaron Dundon, Jack McGrath, Michael Bent, Leo Cullen, Jordi Murphy, John Cooney, Andrew Goodman, Eoin O'Malley.