In the pack, the front row is unchanged while Billy Holland partners Mick O'Driscoll in the second row and Tommy O'Donnell takes over form the injured Niall Ronan in the back row.
O'Donnell is set to win his 10th Munster senior cap while across from him in that back-row will be another Clanwilliam man Alan Quinlan who in winning his 189th cap is closing in on the record held by Anthony Foley (201).
"I'd have to say it's not something I've been giving any thought to really, more concentrating on the job in hand, " Quinlan said. "This is a big game for us. This is a very tight League, very competitive and our ambition is to be involved in the play offs.
"Our away form hasn't been good and that's something we're very aware of and looking to correct. But saying that Rodney Parade is never an easy place to go to get a result. Dragons have improved immensely from when we played them, they've beaten Leinster here and last time out they drew in Ravenhill. That makes them a very good side.
"I've no doubt they'll be up for this one big-time so we can expect nothing less than a game of huge intensity that will go right down to the wire."
Once again Tony McGahan makes use of his young bloods with highly regarded Academy pair Ian Nagle and Scott Deasy on the bench alongside Duncan Williams and Ciaran O'Boyle who scored a superb try in this fixture last season.
Munster: P Warwick; D Howlett, L Mafi, J de Villiers, D Hurley; R O'Gara capt, P Stringer; M Horan, D Fogarty, T Buckley; M O'Driscoll, B Holland; A Quinlan, T O'Donnell, J Coughlan. Replacements: D Varley, J Brugnaut, I Nagle, N Williams, D Williams, S Deasy, C O'Boyle.