In the backline, Gordon D’Arcy and Brian O’Driscoll will partner each other in the centre for a world record 48th time at international level.
Rob Kearney returns to international rugby and starts at full back to win his 42nd cap with Simon Zebo and Gilroy named on the wings.
Second rows Mike McCarthy and Donnacha Ryan will start a championship game together for the first time, with McCarthy making his first start in the tournament having featured as a replacement last season.
Sean O’Brien returns to the starting team after missing the November internationals in a back row that includes Peter O’Mahony and Jamie Heaslip, who will captain Ireland in the 6 Nations Championship for the first time.
The Ireland Team to play Wales on Saturday, 2nd February 2013 in Millennium Stadium, Cardiff in the RBS 6 Nations Championship, Kick off 1.30pm is:
15 - Rob Kearney (UCD/Leinster/41)
14 - Craig Gilroy (Dungannon/Ulster/1)
13 - Brian O'Driscoll (UCD/Leinster/120)
12 - Gordon D'Arcy (Lansdowne/Leinster/71)
11 - Simon Zebo (Cork Constitution/Munster/3)
10 - Jonathan Sexton (St.Mary’s College/Leinster/34)
9 - Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster/14)
1 - Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster/35)
2 - Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster/62)
3 - Mike Ross (Clontarf/Leinster/24)
4 - Mike McCarthy (Buccaneers/Connacht/6)
5 - Donnacha Ryan (Shannon/Munster/23)
6 - Peter O'Mahony (Cork Constitution/Munster/9)
7 - Sean O’Brien (UCD/Leinster/22)
8 - Jamie Heaslip (Dublin University/Leinster/52) Captain
16 - Sean Cronin (St. Mary's College/Leinster/23)
17 - David Kilcoyne (UL Bohemians/Munster/2)
18 - Declan Fitzpatrick (Dungannon/Ulster/2)
19 - Donncha O'Callaghan (Cork Constitution/Munster/91)
20 - Chris Henry (Malone/Ulster/4)
21 - Eoin Reddan (Lansdowne/Leinster/47)
22 - Ronan O'Gara (Cork Constitution/Munster/126)
23 - Keith Earls (Young Munster/Munster/34)
|See full table|