Robbie Diack and Chris Henry will both make their 100th senior appearances for Ulster, starting alongside each other in the back row.
Paul Marshall starts at scrum half, with Ruan Pienaar moving to out-half. Stuart Olding, who has scored two tries in his past two games, retains his place at inside centre with Darren Cave donning the number 13 jersey.
Tommy Bowe, who will tour Australia with the British & Irish Lions this summer, is selected on the left wing with Andrew Trimble, who has scored ten tries for the province so far this season, starting on the right.
Sean Doyle is included in an Ulster squad for the first time since breaking his leg in October and will start on the bench.
The 33-year-old hooker has represented Ulster for 12 years and has won 118 senior caps. He was part of the squad that won the Celtic League in 2006, and won his 100th cap in the record breaking 41-7 win over Leicester Tigers in the Heineken Cup last season.
His commitment to Ulster Rugby and his larger than life personality have made him a favourite of fans and players alike.
Ulster require three more match points to ensure that they finish top of the table. Mark Anscombe's men have won their last three RaboDirect PRO12 matches and have lost just once at Ravenhill in the competition all season - 16-12 to Ospreys in February.
ULSTER (v Cardiff Blues): Jared Payne; Andrew Trimble, Darren Cave, Stuart Olding, Tommy Bowe; Ruan Pienaar, Paul Marshall; Callum Black, Rory Best, John Afoa, Johann Muller (capt), Iain Henderson, Robbie Diack, Chris Henry, Nick Williams.
Replacements: Nigel Brady, Tom Court, Declan Fitzpatrick, Dan Tuohy, Sean Doyle, Paddy Jackson, Michael Allen, Peter Nelson.