Kirchner is named to start at full-back in a back-three which includes the fit-again Lote Tuqiri and St. Mary's College captain Darragh Fanning.
Luke Fitzgerald - one of four Ireland internationals in the starting line-up - continues his centre partnership with Noel Reid, while there are recalls for Jimmy Gopperth and scrum half John Cooney, who makes his 24th appearance for the province.
Shane Jennings leads the team and the experienced flanker is named in the back row alongside Rhys Ruddock and Dominic Ryan, who is set to appear in Leinster colours for the 51st time.
Michael Bent switches to loosehead prop in a front row that also includes Aaron Dundon and Martin Moore who trained with the Ireland squad earlier this week.
The replacements bench includes seven players who are either current products of the Leinster Academy or graduates of the academy.
One of those players is Wexford-born tighthead prop Tadhg Furlong, who is another product of the Leinster Youths system to progress through the ranks in recent years.
LEINSTER (v Newport Gwent Dragons): Zane Kirchner; Darragh Fanning, Luke Fitzgerald, Noel Reid, Lote Tuqiri; Jimmy Gopperth, John Cooney; Michael Bent, Aaron Dundon, Martin Moore, Quinn Roux, Tom Denton, Dominic Ryan, Shane Jennings (capt), Rhys Ruddock.
Replacements: James Tracy, Jack O'Connell, Tadhg Furlong, Ben Marshall, Leo Auva'a, Luke McGrath, Cathal Marsh, Brendan Macken.