Luke Fitzgerald will start at inside centre in place of the injured Robbie Henshaw in Ireland’s World Cup opener against Canada at the Milennium Stadium.
Ulster's Tommy Bowe has been dropped after a poor showing against England in a warm-up game, with Dave Kearney and Keith Earls filling the spots on the wing, while, at fullback, Rob Kearney returns from a knee injury to take over from Earls.
Scrumhalf Conor Murray has overcome a concussion and will join Johnny Sexton as the halfback combination.
Up front, Iain Henderson has been rewarded with a start alongside skipper Paul O'Connell in the second row, while prop Cian Healy is set to make his return from injury off the bench as Jack McGrath starts in the front row.
Ireland – 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Dave Kearney, 13 Jared Payne, 12 Luke Fitzgerald, 11 Keith Earls, 10 Johnny Sexton, 9 Conor Murray, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 Sean O'Brien, 6 Peter O'Mahony, 5 Paul O'Connell (c), 4 Iain Henderson, 3 Mike Ross, 2 Rory Best, 1 Jack McGrath.
Subs: 16 Sean Cronin, 17 Cian Healy, 18 Nathan White, 19 Donnacha Ryan, 20 Chris Henry, 21 Eoin Reddan, 22 Ian Madigan, 23 Simon Zebo.
Photo: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images