Earls replaces injured O'Driiscoll
Keith Earls has been chosen to replace Brian O'Driscoll when Ireland meet Wales in their RBS 6 Nations opener at Aviva Stadium on Sunday.
O'Driscoll has been ruled out of the entire championship after undergoing shoulder surgery, leaving a void in the position he has filled with such distinction since 1999.
The task of filling some of the biggest boots in world rugby has fallen to Earls, the Munster and Lions back who has scored 11 tries in 26 Test appearances.
Andrew Trimble of Ulster has been selected on the left wing with Jonathan Sexton and Conor Murray the preferred half-backs.
Sexton has edged out the more experienced Ronan O'Gara, who must settle for a spot among the replacements.
In total there are only three changes, one positional, to the side defeated 22-10 by Wales in last autumn's World Cup quarter-final.
The pack is identical to the eight that suffered heartache in Wellington with Donncha O'Callaghan holding off the challenge of Donnacha Ryan in the second row.
The only Test debutant in the 22 is Munster back row Peter O'Mahony, who features on the bench.
Ireland team to face Wales at Aviva Stadium, Dublin, on Sunday, February 5 (kick-off 1500): R Kearney (Leinster); T Bowe (Ospreys), K Earls (Munster), G D'Arcy (Leinster), A Trimble (Ulster); J Sexton (Leinster), C Murray (Munster); C Healy (Leinster), R Best (Ulster), M Ross (Leinster), D O'Callaghan (Munster), P O'Connell (Munster, capt), S Ferris (Ulster), S O'Brien (Leinster), J Heaslip (Leinster).
Replacements: S Cronin (Leinster), T Court (Ulster), D Ryan (Munster), P O'Mahony (Munster), E Reddan (Leinster), R O'Gara (Munster), F McFadden (Leinster).