As expected, interim head coach Michael Bradley picked the bulk of Munster's European Cup-winning pack and selected a back line dominated by Leinster's Celtic League winners, including centre Luke Fitzgerald who has sat out the past two training session with a stiff ankle.
Fitzgerald will start alongside Brian O'Driscoll in the midfield, the first time the pair have combined at international level, and it was a prospect the Irish skipper was relishing.
"I was looking forward to playing with Lukey against the Baa-baas last week and it didn't materialise," said O'Driscoll, who missed the Barbarians match because of the death of a close friend.
"I'm certainly looking forward to it. He's such an exciting talent and for such a young guy he has confidence in abundance and I think that will alleviate any nerves a lot of people in that position may feel.
"It's going to be an exciting prospect and we're looking forward to trying to forge some sort of partnership together."
The starting XV also includes Eoin Reddan, fresh from Wasps' success in the Guinness Premiership final against Leicester.
Reddan, Leicester's Geordan Murphy and O'Driscoll had their first run with the squad on Tuesday.
One Munster man missing from the line-up is loose forward Alan Quinlan who was not considered for selection after failing to recover from a dead leg he suffered in the European Cup final win. Jamie Heaslip will start on the blindside in his place.
Bradley was under no illusion of the task ahead of Ireland, who have not beaten New Zealand in 20 attempts.
"In recent times New Zealand have won 42 of their last 48 matches which is a very good strike rate," he said.
"You go back a couple of years and they really put it up to the Lions and won that series very comfortably. So it is very difficult to win matches here."
Despite having had less than a week to prepare for the contest, and the disruption of players arriving late, Bradley said that would not be used as an excuse.
"Both sides will be prepared well for the match and it's down to performance on the day."
Ireland: Robert Kearney; Shane Horgan, Brian O'Driscoll (c), Luke Fitzgerald, Tommy Bowe; Ronan O'Gara, Eoin Reddan; Marcus Horan, Jerry Flannery, John Hayes, Donncha O'Callaghan, Paul O'Connell, David Wallace, Jamie Heaslip, Denis Leamy.
Reserves: Rory Best, Tony Buckley, Mick O'Driscoll, Shane Jennings, Peter Stringer, Paddy Wallace, Girvan Dempsey.