Duncan Williams has also been drafted into the backs division, while overall there are six alterations to the side that started against Scarlets last time out.
Up front, Wian du Preez steps in for Marcus Horan and on the tighthead Stephen Archer comes in for John Hayes.
The wily Mick O'Driscoll will be partnered by Billy Holland in the second row and Tommy O'Donnell, a try scorer against the Scarlets, breaks into the back row in place of Niall Ronan.
An interesting newcomer to the matchday squad is 23-year-old prop John Ryan. The former Ireland Schools and Under-19/Under-20 international was drafted into the squad in place of Horan who is suffering from illness.
The Cardiff Blues won their opening two games but went down 20-3 to Ulster at Ravenhill last weekend.
Their record against Munster in Cardiff is good however. Although McGahan's men won there last season, the province's previous league win to that was back in November 2005.
MUNSTER (v Cardiff Blues): Johne Murphy; Doug Howlett, Danny Barnes, Lifeimi Mafi, Denis Hurley; Ian Keatley, Duncan Williams; Wian du Preez, Mike Sherry, Stephen Archer, Billy Holland, Mick O'Driscoll, Peter O'Mahony (capt), Tommy O'Donnell, James Coughlan.
Replacements: Denis Fogarty, John Ryan, John Hayes, Dave Foley, Niall Ronan, Peter Stringer, Scott Deasy, Tom Gleeson.