Ireland internationals Chris Henry, Andrew Trimble and Paddy Jackson, who were rested against the Newport Gwent Dragons last weekend, also return to the side.
In the only other personnel change, Lewis Stevenson starts in the second-row with Iain Henderson named among the replacements.
Regular captain Johann Muller and John Afoa are named on a strong bench, as is Paul Marshall who will make his 100th appearance for the province if he comes on.
ULSTER (v Connacht): Jared Payne; Andrew Trimble, Darren Cave, Stuart Olding, Tommy Bowe; Paddy Jackson, Ruan Pienaar; Tom Court, Rory Best (capt), Ricky Lutton, Lewis Stevenson, Dan Tuohy, Robbie Diack, Chris Henry, Nick Williams.
Replacements: Rob Herring, Callum Black, John Afoa, Johann Muller, Iain Henderson, Paul Marshall, Michael Allen, Peter Nelson.