12 Dec, 14:42
Prop Cian Healy is expected to miss the start of the 2014 RBS 6 Nations after undergoing surgery on his injured ankle on Wednesday.
O'Driscoll has recovered from a hamstring injury to replace Kevin Maggs at inside centre and earns his 47th cap in a new midfield partnership with Gordon D'Arcy, who retains O'Driscoll's traditional outside centre position.
In the second row, Donncha O'Callaghan, who has won all his eight previous caps as a replacement since making his debut in the corresponding game last year, is chosen to play for the first time in place of 60 times capped Malcolm O'Kelly, who is now in the replacements.
The only other change in the replacements sees Kevin Maggs replace Anthony Horgan 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 full back Girvan Dempsey and the 40th test appearance for out half Ronan O'Gara.
The Ireland team to play Wales in the RBS Six Nations Championship in Lansdowne 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) 10 - Ronan O'Gara (Munster - Cork Constitution) 9 - Peter Stringer (Munster - Shannon) 1 - Reggie Corrigan (Leinster - Greystones) 2 - Shane Byrne (Leinster - Blackrock College) 3 - John Hayes (Munster - Shannon) 4 - Donncha O'Callaghan (Munster - Cork Constitution) 5 - Paul O'Connell (Munster - Young Munster) 6 - Simon Easterby (Llanelli) 7 - Keith Gleeson (Leinster - St. Mary's College) 8 - Anthony Foley (Munster - Shannon) Replacements: 16 - Frank Sheahan (Munster - Cork Constitution) 17 - Simon Best (Ulster - Belfast Harlequins) 18 - Malcolm O'Kelly (Leinster - St. Mary's College) 19 - Victor Costello (Leinster - St. Mary's College) 20 - Guy Easterby (Rotherham) 21 - David Humphreys (Ulster - Dungannon) 22 - Kevin Maggs (Bath) Not considered due to injury: Denis Hickie (Leinster - St. Mary's College), Marcus Horan (Munster - Shannon), Eric Miller (Leinster - Terenure College), Mike Mullins (Munster - Old Crescent) Geordan Murphy (Leicester), Alan Quinlan (Munster - Shannon), David Wallace (Munster - Garryowen)