Dragons are without injured Wales prop Leon Brown and full-back Jordan Williams for Friday's Pro14 2020-21 season opener at Leinster.
Aaron Jarvis comes into the front row, Will Talbot-Davies takes the 15 shirt and Joe Maksymiw starts at lock in three changes from the side that lost at Bristol two weeks ago in Europe.
Ireland fly-half Johnny Sexton captains defending Pro14 champions Leinster.
The British and Irish Lion is partnered at half-back by Jamison Gibson-Park.
Elsewhere in the backs, Hugo Keenan is selected at full-back, with Jordan Larmour on the right wing and James Lowe on the left.
In the centre, former Skerries Community College man Ciarán Frawley starts at inside centre with Garry Ringrose outside him at 13.
In the pack Ed Byrne is selected at loosehead prop, with Rónan Kelleher at hooker and Michael Bent at tighthead.
Scott Fardy and James Ryan are selected in the second row, with Rhys Ruddock, Josh van der Flier and Jack Conan completing the starting XV.
For Dragons, Wales backs Jamie Roberts and Jonah Holmes make their Dragons Pro14 debuts.
Prop Conor Maguire and scrum-half Tavis Knoyle are among the bench selections.
Loosehead Maguire featured for Leinster at age-grade level, while Knoyle could make his 100th appearance in the Pro14 if he features at the RDS in Dublin.
Knoyle, who has played for all four regions, stands just one game short of the milestone, having made his league debut back in April 2009.
Dragons director of rugby Dean Ryan has welcomed the "excitement" of starting the new Pro14 season away to defending champions Leinster on Friday.
Leinster only secured the 2019-20 crown on 12 September, beating Ulster in a Covid-delayed final in Dublin to claim their third successive title.
"You're either daunted by going to Leinster or really excited about challenging yourselves," Ryan said.
"We've tried to sit in that second camp.
" After their Pro14 triumph, the Irish side were beaten by Saracens the following weekend in the European Champions Cup quarter-final, with Dragons also bowing out of Europe after losing their Challenge Cup quarter 56-17 at Bristol Bears.
"We've got this strange start to the season where two weeks ago we played a quarter-final and neither of those things look like a nice, easy way into a season - a quarter-final against Bristol after months of doing nothing and then into Leinster who get wounded in Europe," Ryan added.
"So there's definitely easier ways to wander into a season, but we're really excited about trying to be more competitive at that highest level.
"If we'd played Leinster six weeks later in the middle of that autumn (international) competition we would definitely still be challenged, because that Leinster back-up team is still an outstanding team.
"Playing there against a side that is potentially licking its wounds is exactly where we're going to learn and exactly how we're going to get better.
"We learnt more about ourselves in that Bristol game than in some of the other games that we've played.
"The feeling was a little bit bruised.
We went into that in a pretty good space about our game - we saw there were elements where we got that - but there were also elements where when we get small things wrong against a side that's got the strike firepower of a Bristol, then it can quickly haemorrhage out.
"When you concede three tries in six minutes you get in a spiral, but when you go back and analyse it it's just a collection of small things we didn't get right at that moment.
" Leinster: Hugo Keenan; Jordan Larmour, Garry Ringrose, Ciarán Frawley, James Lowe; Johnny Sexton (capt), Jamison Gibson-Park; Ed Byrne, Rónan Kelleher, Michael Bent, Scott Fardy, James Ryan, Rhys Ruddock, Josh van der Flier, Jack Conan.
Replacements: Seán Cronin, Cian Healy, Andrew Porter, Ryan Baird, Max Deegan, Luke McGrath, Ross Byrne, Tommy O'Brien.
Dragons: Will Talbot-Davies; Jonah Holmes, Nick Tompkins, Jamie Roberts, Ashton Hewitt; Sam Davies, Rhodri Williams (capt); Brok Harris, Elliot Dee, Aaron Jarvis, Joe Davies, Joe Maksymiw, Aaron Wainwright, Harrison Keddie, Ross Moriarty.
Replacements: Richard Hibbard, Conor Maguire, Lloyd Fairbrother, Matthew Screech, Taine Basham, Tavis Knoyle, Josh Lewis, Adam Warren.
Referee: Andrea Piardi (FIR) Assistant Referees: Frank Murphy, Chris Busby (both IRFU) TMO: Simon McDowell (IRFU) Citing Commissioner: Peter Ferguson (IRFU).