New Zealand-born winger James Lowe will make his Six Nations debut while Tadhg Beirne has got the nod ahead of Iain Henderson in the second row as coach Andy Farrell goes with an experienced Ireland side for their opening match in Wales .
Ireland are missing winger Jacob Stockdale and the impressive young backrow Caelan Doris for the trip to Cardiff but otherwise have a clean bill of health with British & Irish Lions prop Tadhg Furlong returning to the bench after almost a year out through injury.
Lowe, who scored a try on his debut when the sides last met in Ireland's 32-9 Autumn Nations Cup win in November, beat Leinster teammate Jordan Larmour to a spot on the wing, with the increasingly assured Hugo Keenan starting at fullback.
Josh van der Flier takes the spot likely earmarked for Doris in the backrow beside the Munster pair of CJ Stander and Peter O'Mahony, with Leinster teammate Will Connors among the replacements.
Meanwhile, Farrell has reminded his players of the importance of sticking to coronavirus rules in the wake of a costly breach from Wales wing Josh Adams.
Adams has been suspended for his country's first two Six Nations matches after attending a family gathering during a break from international duty.
Farrell believes his squad have so far been exemplary in abiding by COVID-19 restrictions but, following the indiscretion in the rival camp, is eager to avoid a lapse and potential embarrassment.
"It's something that we've spoken about - it's something we spoke about when we first came into camp - and it's something we've addressed again since (Adams) because we want to make sure that doesn't happen within our group," said Farrell.
"Everyone is keeping a stringent eye on protocols and it's something we're doing pretty well, and did do pretty well during the autumn as well."
Ireland travel to Cardiff on the back of two thumping Dublin successes over their opponents in 2020 but without a Six Nations win there in eight years.
Farrell is preparing for a "war of attrition" and a fired up Welsh team determined to "right some wrongs".
"We know what top performers they can be when they're under pressure. This is the start of a new competition and they will be wanting to right some wrongs," said the Englishman.