Alex Tait returns from ankle trouble to slot in at fullback with Charlie Amesbury moving to take Gcobani Bobo's place on the wing, as the South African switches to outside centre with Rob Vickerman ruled out by a groin injury.
In the pack Filipo Levi starts in the second row as the injured Tim Swinson misses out, whilst the back row sees the return of Brent Wilson at blindside with the Falcons looking to build on their last home result - a 25-13 league win over Gloucester.
Speaking ahead of Sunday's clash, director of rugby Steve Bates said: "It's a great occasion for us to be involved in, hosting a top class side like Cardiff Blues in a big European quarter-final.
"The players are all excited by the challenge, and hopefully it will capture the imagination of the North-East sporting public because this is a massive chance for us to continue down the path towards silverware and a place in next season's Heineken Cup."
Having already played the Blues once this season in LV= Cup action, Bates said: "I don't think either side will have really gleaned too much from that game to be totally honest, because both clubs took the opportunity to mix their squads up on that occasion.
"But we are still well aware of what quality Cardiff have from studying the tapes of their recent games, and when you look down their squad list there is certainly no shortage of international quality with a host of Wales, Lions and All Black caps in there.
"That in itself is a great motivation for our players, because they will want to test themselves against guys of that calibre and prove that they deserve to be in that sort of company on a more regular basis. We will probably start as underdogs in many people's eyes, but we're coming out to attack and to hopefully put on a show for the crowd on what is a major high-profile game for the region."
Tickets for Sunday's game (kick-off 3pm) are still available by calling 0871 226 60 60, or from Kingston Park in person and on the day.
Newcastle Falcons team to face Cardiff Blues:
15 Alex Tait, 14 Danny Williams, 13 Gcobani Bobo, 12 Tane Tu'ipulotu, 11 Charlie Amesbury, 10 Jimmy Gopperth, 9 Micky Young,1 Jon Golding, 2 Rob Vickers, 3 Carl Hayman (captain), 4 James Hudson, 5 Filipo Levi, 6 Brent Wilson, 7 Ed Williamson, 8 Josh Afu
Replacements:Alex Walker, Micky Ward, Grant Shiells, Mark Sorenson, Will Welch, Chris Pilgrim, Tom Catterick, Tom Biggs