O'Driscoll has recovered from a hamstring injury to replace KevinMaggs atinside centre and earns his 47th cap in a new midfield partnershipwithGordon D'Arcy, who retains O'Driscoll's traditional outside centreposition.
In the second row, Donncha O'Callaghan, who has won all his eightpreviouscaps as a replacement since making his debut in the correspondinggame lastyear, is chosen to play for the first time in place of 60 times cappedMalcolm O'Kelly, who is now in the replacements.
The only other change in the replacements sees Kevin Maggs replaceAnthonyHorgan and if Maggs is called into the game he will earn his 60th cap.
The Ireland v Wales match will mark the 45th cap milestone for fullbackGirvan Dempsey and the 40th test appearance for out half Ronan O'Gara.
The Ireland team to play Wales in the RBS Six Nations Championship inLansdowne Road on Sunday 22nd February at 15.00hrs is as follows:
15 - Girvan Dempsey (Leinster - Terenure College)14 - Shane Horgan (Leinster - Lansdowne)13 - Gordon D'Arcy (Leinster - Lansdowne)12 - Brian O'Driscoll (Leinster - Blackrock College) capt 11 - Tyrone Howe (Ulster - Dungannon)