20 Jun, 03:31
Four Ireland players - Brian O'Driscoll, Jonathan Sexton, Paul O'Connell and Jamie Heaslip - have been included in the British & Irish Lions team for Saturday's first Test against Australia in Brisbane.
Ulster's 31-man squad contains a mix of youth and experience, with Chris Henry taking over the captaincy in the absence of Johann Muller through injury.
The 27-year-old back rower led the side admirably when Muller and Best were on Rugby World Cup duty earlier in the season.
Muller will miss a second consecutive match following the calf injury he picked up last week in training, while Ali Birch is the only fresh injury after he picked up a knee injury in last Friday's bonus point win over the Newport Gwent Dragons.
Ulster have won seven of the previous nine games in all competitions, with six of those victories producing four try-scoring bonus points.
The Cardiff Blues also showing good form, particularly at home where they have lost just one of their last eight games.
Ulster produced one of their best recent performances in this fixture last season, with Craig Gilroy scoring two debut tries to help them secure a 37-15 win.
The Ulstermen then completed a aseason's double over the Welsh region with a 32-13 success at Ravenhill.
ULSTER Squad (v Cardiff Blues) - Backs (15): Paul Marshall, Ruan Pienaar, Ian Porter, Ian Humphreys, Luke Marshall, Paddy Wallace, Ian Whitten, Nevin Spence, Michael Allen, Stefan Terblanche, Craig Gilroy, Conor Gaston, Simon Danielli, Chris Cochrane, Adam D'Arcy.
Forwards (16): Callum Black, Adam Macklin, John Afoa, Tom Court, Jerry Cronin, Paddy McAllister, Andi Kyriacou, Nigel Brady, Lewis Stevenson, Tim Barker, Dan Tuohy, Neil McComb, Willie Faloon, Chris Henry (capt), Mike McComish, Robbie Diack.