Keith Earls was given the task of filling the void created by Brian O'Driscoll's absence as Ireland named their side to face Wales in this weekend's Six Nations opener on Wednesday.
"Keith trained really well last week and it was on that basis that we made the decision," said Ireland coach Declan Kidney. "He's looking forward to it and obviously has played very well there for Munster.
"All players can adapt. He's played a lot in the position and is comfortable there. Keith has been playing very strongly in the European Cup."
Ireland are having to do without star centre and regular captain O'Driscoll for the tournament after the midfielder was ruled out of the entire Six Nations following shoulder surgery.
Ireland (15 to 1):
Rob Kearney (Leinster); Tommy Bowe (Ospreys), Keith Earls (Munster), Gordon D'Arcy (Leinster), Andrew Trimble (Ulster); Jonathan Sexton (Leinster) Conor Murray (Munster); Jamie Heaslip (Leinster), Sean O'Brien (Leinster), Stephen Ferris (Ulster); Paul O'Connell (Munster, capt), Donncha O'Callaghan (Munster); Mike Ross (Leinster), Rory Best (Ulster), Cian Healy (Leinster)
Source: AFP Global Edition