Both Paddy Wallace and David Pollock are ruled out through injury so Rob Dewey takes Wallace's place in the centre and Kieron Dawson returns in the back row.
Former Leicester out-half Ian Humphreys has been included on the replacements bench, alongside Italian international Carlo Del Fava.
Head coach Matt Williams was bitterly disappointed with aspects of his side's performance in Cardiff but the Australian has moved on from last week's performance and is eyeing up a first win of the season.
"I know my team can win this game. We played some great rugby on Friday night in Cardiff and the players' effort was spot on," Williams said.
"If we can repeat that effort and style of rugby and control our penalty count then I am confident we can beat the Dragons.
"But they will be sore from their defeat to Munster so we will be taking nothing for granted. We need this win and we are determined to get it."
Former Ulster winger Tommy Bowe was back in the province this week and was talking about how his new club, the Ospreys, are envious of the special atmosphere at Ravenhill.
"People involved with the club or the supporters have asked how Ulster go about getting the sort of support they have. It is something the Ospreys would love to have and something they are struggling to get in many ways," Bowe admitted.
"And one of those reasons is because the Ulster supporters are so vocal and really get behind their team."
Tickets for Friday's game are on sale now from Ravenhill, either over the counter (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm), by telephone 02890493222 (Option 2) between 10am and 12 noon, Monday to Friday, or online at www.UlsterRugby.com.
ULSTER (v Newport Gwent Dragons): Clinton Schifcofske; Andrew Trimble, Darren Cave, Rob Dewey, Timoci Nagusa; Niall O'Connor, lsaac Boss; Tom Court; Rory Best (capt), BJ Botha, Ryan Caldwell, Ed O'Donoghue, Matt McCullough, Kieron Dawson, Robbie Diack.
Replacements: Nigel Brady, Justin Fitzpatrick, Carlo Del Fava, Thomas Anderson, Cillian Willis, Ian Humphreys, Bryn Cunningham.