Ulster head coach, Mark Anscombe, has made three changes to his side from the team that lost to Glasgow.
Tom Court replaces Callum Black at loosehead, Iain Henderson is named in the second-row in place of Dan Tuohy and Chris Henry is selected at openside flanker instead of Sean Doyle.
Ireland winger, Craig Gilroy, is named as a substitute and is in line to make his first appearance of the season, having recovered from the groin injury that has kept him out of rugby since April.
Coach Anscombe said: "It is great to be able to welcome players like Tom, Iain and Chris back in. They are all Ireland internationals and their experience will be important for us this weekend against a very capable Connacht side.
"We were disappointed last weekend. However, we created more opportunities against Glasgow last Friday night than we did in four matches against them last season - we just didn't take them.
"We need to be more clinical and we know that.
"This week we have trained well - the attitude has been really good and we are looking forward to this interprovincial match."
Speaking to UTV centre Darren Cave said he was relishing the first derby of the new season.
He said: "I was very frustrated and very quick to get out of Ravenhill, but it's too early to talk of a crisis.
"Last year we won 14 games in a row at the start of the season and the record shows we didn't win trophy.
"Ok we have lost our first two games in the league this year, but we just have to put our efforts into winning a couple of games and hopefully this will be forgotten about in the coming months."
There has been darker days at Ulster and bigger disappointments, but I don't think there has ever been frustrations like we had against Glasgow.
He added: "The four provinces are the best they have ever been and the four derbies are at the highest standard they have ever been.
"Connacht have been brilliant of late getting a new coach and into Europe which has increased their fan base and increased their players exposure to the higher intensity rugby.
"It's been brilliant for them, they are a tough team and its going to be even tougher for us given our two defeats."
"Connacht is a tough place to play, they are a good team and if you make the mistakes early on then their fans get behind them which gives them more energy and it makes it even harder to play against.
"We'll be hoping to start well, not give too much away and ease our way into the game.
"And as it starts to open up, I would back ourselves against anyone."
Ulster squad to face Connacht at The Sportsground:
J Payne, D McIlwaine, D Cave, L Marshall, M Allen, P Jackson, I Porter; T Court, R Herring, D Fitzpatrick, J Muller (Captain), I Henderson, R Wilson, C Henry, N Williams.
Replacements: N Annett, K McCall, R Lutton, L Stevenson, R Diack, P Marshall, J McKinney, C Gilroy.