Flanker Ray Ofisa is ruled out through illness and up front Ronan Loughney, Michael Swift, Johnny O'Connor and Mike McCarthy have earned recalls.
"We know it will be a tough test against the Dragons but we are anxious to bounce back from last week's defeat to Ulster," explained Michael Bradley.
"The Dragons, like ourselves, are a difficult side at home normally. This year they have a strong resolve. They have started well, are strong and have plenty of confidence.
"They will be under pressure to get a win over us, and we will go there looking to get something - if not to make up for last weekend. It's a match we can win and we will go there with that atttitude."
CONNACHT (v Newport Gwent Dragons): Gavin Duffy; Liam Bibo, Niva Ta'auso, Keith Matthews, Troy Nathan; Miah Nikora, Conor O'Loughlin; Ronan Loughney, Sean Cronin, Jamie Hagan, Michael Swift, Bernie Upton, Mike McCarthy, Johnny O'Connor, John Muldoon (capt).
Replacements: Adrian Flavin, Brett Wilkinson, Andrew Browne, Mike McComish, Frank Murphy, Ian Keatley, Aidan Wynne.