Keith Earls will start at outside centre alongside Gordon D'Arcy with Andrew Trimble coming into the team on the left wing.
In the half-backs Jonathan Sexton will win his 25th senior cap and he is partnered by RBS 6 Nations debutant Conor Murray.
The pack is unchanged from the last game with talismanic lock Paul O'Connell taking over the captaincy from the injured Brian O'Driscoll.
Meanwhile, the uncapped Peter O'Mahony receives his first call-up to the senior matchday squad. The 22-year-old has earned a spot on the replacements bench having impressed for Munster so far this season.
IRELAND Team & Replacements (v Wales, 2012 RBS 6 Nations Championship, Aviva Stadium, Sunday, February 5, kick-off 3pm):
15 - Rob Kearney (UCD/Leinster)
14 - Tommy Bowe (Ospreys)
13 - Keith Earls (Young Munster/Munster)
12 - Gordon D'Arcy (Lansdowne/Leinster)
11 - Andrew Trimble (Ballymena/Ulster)
10 - Jonathan Sexton (St. Mary's College/Leinster)
9 - Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster)
2 - Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster)
3 - Mike Ross (Clontarf/Leinster)
4 - Donncha O'Callaghan (Cork Constitution/Munster)
5 - Paul O'Connell (Young Munster/Munster) (capt)
6 - Stephen Ferris (Dungannon/Ulster)
7 - Sean O'Brien (Clontarf/Leinster)
8 - Jamie Heaslip (Naas/Leinster)
16 - Sean Cronin (St. Mary's College/Leinster)
17 - Tom Court (Malone/Ulster)
18 - Donnacha Ryan (Shannon/Munster)
19 - Peter O'Mahony (Cork Constitution/Munster) *
20 - Eoin Reddan (Lansdowne/Leinster)
21 - Ronan O'Gara (Cork Constitution/Munster)
22 - Fergus McFadden (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
* Denotes uncapped player