Navidi is named at Number Eight for the big league encounter as the coaching team of Dale McIntosh and Paul John make a total of six changes to the starting line-up that earned a hard-fought victory over Edinburgh last weekend.
Fly half Gareth Anscombe and wing Alex Cuthbert return in the back division after being released by Wales this week.
A new-look back line sees a switch to full back for Rhys Patchell while Argentine international Joaquin Tuculet is selected on the wing.
Tighthead prop legend Taufa’ao Filise starts the game in the front row, with Adam Jones ruled out, alongside the called-up Kristian Dacey, with Sam Hobbs remaining at loosehead.
Lock Lou Reed is selected in the second row alongside New Zealander Jarrad Hoeata while the captaincy is handed to the impressive Jenkins after his all-action display last weekend.
Scott Andrews is named among a powerful replacements bench that also includes forwards Filo Paulo and Macauley Cook.
Attack Coach Paul John said: “Connacht have enjoyed a fine season in the league and are pushing hard for a top six finish. Pat Lam and his coaching team have got them playing some fantastic rugby.
“There was nothing between the teams when we met at the Sportsground in Galway in October and I’m sure this will be a very tight encounter as we look to claim another important win at home.
“We were pleased to defeat Edinburgh last Sunday and it was important for everyone connected with the region for us to get a win on the board,” he added.
“It’s been a quick turnaround this week but we are lifted by the return of some of our Wales internationals and I know the likes of Gareth Anscombe and Alex Cuthbert will be keen to impress and get some rugby under their belts.”
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Cardiff Blues: 15 Rhys Patchell, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Cory Allen, 12 Gavin Evans, 11 Joaquin Tuculet, 10 Gareth Anscombe, 9 Lloyd Williams; 1 Sam Hobbs, 2 Kristian Dacey, 3 Taufa’ao Filise, 4 Jarrad Hoeata, 5 Lou Reed, 6 Josh Turnbull, 7 Ellis Jenkins (c), 8 Josh Navidi
Replacements: 16 Rhys Williams, 17 Thomas Davies, 18 Scott Andrews, 19 Filo Paulo, 20 Macauley Cook, 21 Tavis Knoyle, 22 Gareth Davies, 23 Tom Isaacs