Andrew Trimble moves to the centre to replace the injured Brian O'Driscoll and Geordan Murphy comes into the team on the right wing.
The team will be captained by Paul O'Connell.
There are a number of changes on the replacements bench from last week with Jerry Flannery, Stephen Ferris, Isaac Boss and Brian Carney joining Malcolm O'Kelly and Simon Best to make up the matchday 22.
Both Brian O'Driscoll and Shane Horgan are out of consideration as they recover from their injuries and they are joined on the list by David Wallace.
IRELAND TEAM & REPLACEMENTS (v Italy, Ravenhill, Friday, August 24, kick-off 7.45pm):
15 - Girvan Dempsey (Terenure College/Leinster)
14 - Geordan Murphy (Leicester)
13 - Andrew Trimble (Ballymena/Ulster)
12 - Gordon D'Arcy (Lansdowne/Leinster)
11 - Denis Hickie (St. Mary's College/Leinster)
10 - Ronan O'Gara (Cork Constitution/Munster)
9 - Peter Stringer (Shannon/Munster)
1 - Marcus Horan (Shannon/Munster)
2 - Rory Best (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster)
3 - John Hayes (Bruff/Munster)
4 - Donncha O'Callaghan (Cork Constitution/Munster)
5 - Paul O'Connell (Young Munster/Munster) (Captain)
6 - Simon Easterby (Llanelli)
7 - Neil Best (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster)
8 - Denis Leamy (Cork Constitution/Munster)
16 - Jerry Flannery (Shannon/Munster)
17 - Simon Best (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster)
18 - Malcolm O'Kelly (St. Mary's College/Leinster)
19 - Stephen Ferris (Dungannon/Ulster)
20 - Isaac Boss (Ballymena/Ulster)
21 - Paddy Wallace (Ballymena/Ulster)
22 - Brian Carney (Clonakilty/Munster)
Player Profiles - click here - full player profiles on the Ireland Rugby World Cup squad