Warburton – this week named as Wales captain for the forthcoming 6 Nations – is one of 12 changes made by Head Coach Danny Wilson for the Pool 3 encounter that his team must win with a bonus point to try and qualify for the knockout stages.
A total of seven players named by Wales this week are in the squad to face the Italians.
Wing Tom James is named in the starting line-up, after recovering from illness, while centre Gavin Evans will partner Cory Allen in midfield.
A new half back pairing will see Gareth Anscombe start his first game of the season for Cardiff Blues alongside scrum half Tavis Knoyle.
A completely new pack for the game will be led by captain Gethin Jenkins in the front row, who joins forces with young hooker Ethan Lewis and prop Dillon Lewis, this week named by Wales Under-20s.
New Zealand lock Jarrad Hoeata and Lou Reed will play in the second row while Warburton is into the back row alongside USA international Cam Dolan and Josh Navidi, who is at Number Eight.
Hooker Matthew Rees could make his return after being named among the replacements while Aled Summerhill is also called onto the bench.
Head Coach Danny Wilson said: “We are not taking this game lightly – we need five points and we are at home so we have picked a strong team to try and do just that. A few players deserve an opportunity and they get the chance to impress.
“The outcome of our qualification hopes is now out of our hands, all we can concentrate is our performance and getting the five points we need. We will react to what happens elsewhere.
“We need to build a performance because we’ve got another huge league game the week after.
“It’s massive that we keep winning at home,” he added. “We have a passionate fanbase that want us to win and for them, and for momentum, we need to keep doing that.
“We want this to be is a hard place for any team to come and we want to build a crowd by winning.
“We know what we need to achieve in this game and we are playing on a fast surface that will suit that game plan. Our intention will be to play and to play at a high tempo.”
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Cardiff Blues: 15 Dan Fish, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Cory Allen, 12 Gavin Evans, 11 Tom James, 10 Gareth Anscombe, 9 Tavis Knoyle; 1 Gethin Jenkins (c), 2 Ethan Lewis, 3 Dillon Lewis, 4 Jarrad Hoeata, 5 Lou Reed, 6 Cam Dolan, 7 Sam Warburton, 8 Josh Navidi
Replacements: 16 Matthew Rees, 17 Thomas Davies, 18 Scott Andrews, 19 Macauley Cook, 20 Ellis Jenkins, 21 Lloyd Williams, 22 Rhys Patchell, 23 Aled Summerhill