Declan Kidney's selected side includes nine World Cup debutants. The most noteworthy of them is 22-year-old scrum half Conor Murray, who is set to make his full debut for Ireland alongside half-back partner Jonathan Sexton.
Three more newcomers to rugby's showpiece competition, Stephen Ferris, Shane Jennings and Jamie Heaslip, make up a combative back row.
Wingers Tommy Bowe and Keith Earls and props Tom Court and Mike Ross will also be making their World Cup bows.
Ireland have played 11 Tests so far on New Zealand soil, winning just one of those games. They beat Canada 46-19 in Dunedin at the inaugural World Cup in 1987.
Their record against the USA reads: played 6, won 6. Denis Leamy, Bowe and Geordan Murphy all made their Test debuts against the Eagles, with Bowe and Murphy both crowning their first games with tries.
There will be added spice to this clash as the Americans are coached by Eddie O'Sullivan, who was in charge of Ireland at the last two World Cups and when they won Triple Crowns in 2004, 2006 and 2007.
The tournament organisers have announced that the USA and Ireland players will commemorate the members of the rugby community who died in 9/11 terrorist attacks.
We will have live text commentary direct from Stadium Taranaki. Plug in the laptop or turn on the PC and enjoy a flavour of this evening's match live on IrishRugby.ie.
There will be full live text and score updates throughout the coverage as Ireland look to make the best possible start to their Pool C campaign.
There is live TV coverage of the match on RTÉ Two, Setanta Sports Ireland and UTV. There will also be highlights on a number of channels later in the day, including TG4.
Michael Corcoran will also be doing live commentary of the game on RTÉ Radio 1, with their coverage beginning 15 minutes before kick-off.
Starting at 5.30pm NZ time/6.30am Irish time with our pre-match build-up (the game kicks off at 6pm NZ time/7am Irish time), you can feel part of the action on IrishRugby.ie with MatchDay Live.
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