The omission of O'Callaghan could be viewed in two ways with Kidney continuing to reshape a team that has relied on the likes of Brian O'Driscoll, Ronan O'Gara and O'Callaghan, who has 94 caps to his name, for over a decade or simply adjusting things tactically to face the Italians.
But whatever the view of the public, Kidney is adamant O'Callaghan will don the Irish green again.
"Devin Toner is a purely selection issue. The Italian lineout is very strong so it's just prudent to have a balance on that side of things this time. He has been going well for us in training so it's a recognition of both," said Kidney.
"It's tough on Donncha. It's always tough on anyone, whether it's their first cap or a 100th. I would say Donncha is a long way from his first cap. That's just the selection for this match.
"There's many more to come. He'll be playing away next year as well and there's nothing to say he won't be in for the next match."