10 Dec, 12:23
Ireland's John Lacey will referee his first ever RBS 6 Nations match in February, while Alain Rolland is also included in the Elite Panel in what is his last season.
In the other change, David Gannon comes in at blindside flanker for Colm Rigney, who picked up a knee injury against the Ospreys two weeks ago.
Johnny O'Connor has been named among the replacements having impressed in last week's 'A' match against Ulster.
Young hooker Conor Muldoon has also named on the bench in place of the injured Adrian Flavin.
The following players were not considered due to injury - Adrian Flavin (leg), Brian McGovern (ankle), Colm Rigney (knee), Niva Ta'auso (hamstring) and Aidan Wynne (jaw).
CONNACHT (v Cardiff Blues): Troy Nathan; Liam Bibo, Gavin Duffy, Keith Matthews, Fionn Carr; Ian Keatley, Frank Murphy; Brett Wilkinson, Sean Cronin, Robbie Morris, Andrew Browne, Andrew Farley, David Gannon, Ray Ofisa, John Muldoon (capt).
Replacements: Conor Muldoon, Ronan Loughney, Michael Swift, Johnny O'Connor, Conor O'Loughlin, Andy Dunne, Mel Deane.