Stephen Jones and Dwayne Peel will start in the half-backs against Italy a week on Saturday after Wales head coach Warren Gatland made six changes to the side that beat Scotland.
Gatland has also named a whole new front row, with Gethin Jenkins, Rhys Thomas and hooker Matthew Rees given their first starts of this year’s RBS 6 Nations Championship.
The other change is on the wing where Mark Jones, who was dropped following the win over England at Twickenham, returns in place of weekend debutant Jamie Roberts.
Gatland had promised changes following the 30-15 victory and he has taken the unusual step of announcing his line-up 11 days before the game to ensure maximum preparation time.
“We’ve made six changes but are in the enviable position of being able to do so without weakening our line-up,” said Gatland, who has brought in players boasting a total of 239 caps between them.
“Players have put their hands up with performances from the bench and in Stephen, Dwayne, Mark and Gethin we are a bringing a wealth of experience and talent into the side.
“Italy are tough opposition and have been progressing well under a new coach in Nick Mallett.
“They gave England a scare last week and they always rise to the occasion and pick up a result somewhere in the Six Nations and we need to be on our guard.”
Jones and Peel have been rewarded for their performances off the bench at the weekend, when they came on with 20 minutes remaining and guided Wales to victory.
As a result, James Hook and Mike Phillips have been included among the replacements, alongside hooker Huw Bennett and prop Duncan Jones who also started against Scotland.
Gatland has taken the bold step of changing his entire front row against an Azzurri side renowned for their forward power.
But the rest of the pack remain unchanged after Alun-Wyn Jones failed to recover from the ankle injury which kept him out of the Scotland game.
In the backs, Tom Shanklin will become the 20th Welsh player to win 50 caps and will continue his midfield partnership with Gavin Henson.
“Gavin and Tom are going well and developing an interesting partnership and both Shane Williams and Lee Byrne can be proud of the contributions they have made to our campaign so far,” Gatland added.
“We thought Jamie Roberts had a big, strong and impressive debut in a Wales shirt against Scotland, we have recalled Mark Jones to offer us some extra pace and experience out wide.”
Wales team to play Italy in the RBS 6 Nation Championship on February 23 at the Millennium Stadium, kick-off 3pm:
L Byrne (Ospreys); M Jones (Llanelli Scarlets), T Shanklin (Cardiff Blues), G Henson (Ospreys), S Williams (Ospreys); S Jones (Llanelli Scarlets), D Peel (Llanelli Scarlets); G Jenkins (Cardiff Blues), M Rees (Llanelli Scarlets), R Thomas (Newport Gwent Dragons), I Gough (Ospreys), I Evans (Ospreys), J Thomas (Ospreys), M Williams (Cardiff Blues), R Jones (Ospreys, capt).
Replacements: H Bennett (Ospreys), Duncan Jones (Ospreys), Deiniol Jones (Cardiff Blues), G Delve (Gloucester), M Phillips (Ospreys), J Hook (Ospreys), S Parker (Ospreys).