Ireland coach Eddie O'Sullivan has recalled Leinster centre Gordon D'Arcy to the side for Sunday's RBS 6 Nations clash against Italy at the Stadio Flaminio.
D'Arcy - last year's player of the championship - missed the November internationals through injury but has reclaimed his place in the line-up and will resume his midfield partnership with skipper Brian O'Driscoll.
Girvan Dempsey makes way for D'Arcy - the Leinster full-back must settle for a place on the bench - while Leicester star Geordan Murphy takes the number 15 jersey with Shane Horgan reverting to the wing.
The second change to the team who defeated Argentina in the autumn sees Wasps openside Johnny O'Connor lose out to in-form Munster back row Denis Leamy, who will win his second cap on Sunday.
Ireland team to face Italy at the Stadio Flaminio in the RBS 6 Nations on Sunday:
G Murphy (Leicester), S Horgan (Leinster), B O'Driscoll (Leinster, capt), G D'Arcy (Leinster), D Hickie (Leinster), R O'Gara (Munster), P Stringer (Munster), R Corrigan (Leinster), S Byrne (Leinster), J Hayes (Munster), M O'Kelly (Leinster), P O'Connell (Munster), S Easterby (Llanelli), D Leamy (Munster), A Foley (Munster).
Replacements: F Sheahan (Munster), M Horan (Munster), D O'Callaghan (Munster), E Miller (Leinster), G Easterby (Leinster), D Humphreys (Ulster), G Dempsey (Leinster).
Ireland Women's skipper Niamh Briggs is still relishing her role as skipper in this year's Women's Six Nations, and insists the new blood brought in for the Championship has given her team a new lease of life.