Scottish centre Michael Tait earns a first start after scoring a sensational solo try on his first team debut from the bench in the same competition against Harlequins earlier this season, whilst there is also a first start for countryman Grant Shiells at loose head prop.
Tom Catterick starts at fullback after scoring a brace of tries for England Under-20s last week, whilst fellow England squad mate Will Welch is also in the starting XV. Chris Pilgrim makes his first start for the club at scrum half after impressing from the bench in recent weeks, with No.8 Adam Balding among those recalled as he comes in to captain the team.
Explaining his team selection, Bates said: "We will have a number of personnel changes in the starting XV, but that doesn't in any way diminish the way that the team will prepare for the match.
"There are guys starting this weekend who have a lot to play for, we are taking it very seriously and this is a great opportunity for them to show us what they can do at this level.
"The players are really looking forward to this challenge, many of them have had limited scope for first team rugby this season and the onus is on them to come and take these chances. Hopefully they will then make selection very difficult for us in the coming weeks, and that's what it is all about."
Newcastle Falcons team to face Cardiff Blues:
Team: Tom Catterick, Danny Williams, Michael Tait, Gcobani Bobo, Tom Biggs, Rob Miller, Chris Pilgrim, Grant Shiells, Alex Walker, Matt Thompson, Peter Browne, Mark Sorenson, Ed Williamson, Will Welch, Adam Balding (captain)
Replacements: Rob Vickers, Micky Ward, Kieran Brookes, Josh Afu, Alex Gray, Hall Charlton, Rob Vickerman, Charlie Amesbury