Rees, a summer recruit from Scarlets, is named in the front row alongside Taufa'ao Filise and Scott Andrews as Blues travel to Scotstoun Stadium hunting another strong start to the campaign.
Cardiff Blues have begun the PRO12 season with defeat just once since 2005 but face a Warriors team that finished off their last campaign with a run of seven straight victories in all competitions at their Scotstoun home.
"We've had an intense pre-season and it's a great new challenge for me and the team this season,” said Rees.
"We can be confident with the manner in which we have performed in our two pre-season games and now we need to take that to Glasgow on Friday night. It's a tough start but also an exciting one for all of us.”
Director of Rugby Phil Davies has named a powerful team with Wales international Bradley Davies and Samoa star Filo Paulo paired in the second row.
Robin Copeland plays at Number Eight and is flanked by Macauley Cook and Josh Navidi.
Rhys Patchell and Lloyd Williams combine at half back while Harry Robinson and Chris Czekaj offer the firepower out wide. Gavin Evans and Owen Williams combine in midfield with Tom Williams in the No.15 jersey.
Speaking ahead of the game, Davies said: "It's important we have a positive start, we want to build momentum in all the competitions.
"It's also important that we continue to develop the team and the individuals through this early period. The season is split into three or four different blocks where you have a full squad of players and then you haven't due to internationals.
"We have to develop consistency so that every time you do have a change in your playing squad you don't have a dip in performance. That is the challenge in this league, getting consistency throughout and the way players come in and out.
"Experience tells me the first games of the season are unpredictable,” he added. "You can train brilliantly and then not perform that well, or you can train average and play exceptional.
"It's about getting the physical and mental approach right to enable us to perform. We need a competitive game to see where we are and we are looking forward to it.”
Cardiff Blues: 15 Tom Williams, 14 Harry Robinson, 13 Owen Williams, 12 Gavin Evans, 11 Chris Czekaj, 10 Rhys Patchell, 9 Lloyd Williams;
1 Taufa'ao Filise, 2 Matthew Rees (c), 3 Scott Andrews, 4 Bradley Davies, 5 Filo Paulo, Macauley Cook, 7 Josh Navidi, 8 Robin Copeland.
Replacements: 16 Marc Breeze, 17 Sam Hobbs, 18 Benoit Bourrust, 19 James Down, 20 Luke Hamilton, 21 Lewis Jones, 22 Gareth Davies, 23 Dafydd Hewitt.