In his 53rd Test appearance, Humphreys leads the team in place of the non-touring injured Brian O'Driscoll, whose N0. 13 outside centre position is taken over by Geordan Murphy. His previous 16 caps were won at either full back or wing.
Reggie Corrigan, who has made 20 appearances for Ireland at loose head prop has been selected for the first time in a Test at tight head.
James Topping returns to Test duty after a three years absence at right wing to win his eighth cap. His last international appearance was against USA on tour in 2000.
There are eight changes, six in personnel and two positional, from the starting Ireland XV which defeated Australia by 18 - 9 in Lansdowne Road last November. Backs Shane Horgan, Brian O'Driscoll and Denis Hickie and forwards John Hayes and Anthony Foley are not in Australia because of injury. Ronan O'Gara is replaced at out half by Humphreys, while Reggie Corrigan switches from one side to the other in the front row and Victor Costello, who played at N0. 6 in Dublin, is now picked at N0. 8.
There are also eight changes, six in personnel and two positional, compared to the team chosen for Ireland's last Test outing, against England, in the Six Nations championship in March. Injured non tourists Justin Bishop, O'Driscoll, Hickie, Hayes and Foley are out, while Girvan Dempsey, who came on as a substitute, is now selected; with Geordan Murphy switching from N0.15 to N0. 13 and Victor Costello again moving from blindside flanker to N0. 8.
15 - Girvan Dempsey (Leinster - Terenure College)14 - James Topping (Ulster - Ballymena)13 - Geordan Murphy (Leicester)12 - Kevin Maggs (Bath)11 - John Kelly (Munster - Cork Constitution)10 - David Humphreys (Ulster - Dungannon) captain 9 - Peter Stringer (Munster - Shannon)
(Replacements to be named later).