Wales were forced into a late change ahead of their Triple Crown showdown with Ireland after hooker Huw Bennett was struck down by flu.
Bennett was withdrawn late on Saturday morning and replaced by Matthew Rees, with the uncapped Cardiff Blues hooker Gareth Williams promoted onto the bench.
The loss of Bennett, who has been a more reliable lineout operator than Rees this season, was an untimely blow to Wales’ hopes of wrestling the Triple Crown trophy from Irish hands.
The build-up to the match had been dominated by Warren Gatland’s return to Dublin to lock horns with Eddie O’Sullivan, the man who replaced him as Ireland coach seven years ago.
Wales come into the game unbeaten, top of the RBS 6 Nations table and in the box seat to win the title - but Ireland needed a victory to keep their own championship aspirations alive.
O’Sullivan was forced to move Rob Kearney to full-back after Geordan Murphy and Girvan Dempsey were both ruled out through injury.
The knock-on effect saw Shane Horgan promoted to the starting line-up and Tommy Bowe switched to the left wing while lock Paul O’Connell and hooker Rory Best returned to the pack.
Gatland’s major selection decision was to retain Stephen Jones at fly-half ahead of James Hook and start with Mike Phillips instead of Dwayne Peel at scrum-half.