Donncha O'Callaghan also slots back into the second row next to David Foley, while Paddy Butler marks his return from injury by donning the number 6 jersey, forming the back row with Sean Dougall and number 8 James Coughlan who captains the province for the second time this season.
JJ Hanrahan is joined at half-back by Duncan Williams, with Gerry Hurley named in the replacements for the first time this season.
Cork Constitution clubman Hurley is in line to make a return to league action against the same opposition he last played against exactly six years ago.
Ronan O'Mahony, who scored a last-gasp match-winning try against the Scarlets, is named in a new-look back-line with Johne Murphy joining James Downey in the centre for the first time this season.
Munster v Connacht tickets will be on sale on matchday from 9am from the mobile ticket office at Hassett's Cross and from the West Stand ticket booth from 5.15pm.
Ticket prices: Cat A Stand €40, Cat B Stand €30, Cat B Junior Stand €10, Terrace €20, Junior Terrace €7, Family Terrace Pack €40 (two adults and two juniors). *Junior - Under 16 years.
MUNSTER (v Connacht): Felix Jones; Keith Earls, Johne Murphy, James Downey, Ronan O'Mahony; JJ Hanrahan, Duncan Williams; James Cronin, Niall Scannell, John Ryan, Donncha O'Callaghan, David Foley, Paddy Butler, Sean Dougall, James Coughlan (capt).
Replacements: Damien Varley, Alan Cotter, Stephen Archer, Billy Holland, CJ Stander, Gerry Hurley, Johnny Holland, Denis Hurley.