Saracens skipper Bracken, whose last England start was against Italy almost 10 months ago, has leapfrogged Andy Gomarsall for the number nine jersey.
With Matt Dawson still nursing a calf injury, Bracken's experience has clearly won him the nod above Gomarsall, who started against France three days ago.
It will be Bracken's first appearance since he suffered concussion during Saracens' Premiership defeat against Gloucester on February 2, meaning he had to serve a mandatory 21-day rest period.
England boss Clive Woodward has made two other changes - both enforced through injury - from the side that defeated France 25-17 at Twickenham on Saturday.
Leicester prop Graham Rowntree takes over in the front row from Jason Leonard, while Richard Hill features in the back row at blind-side flanker instead of Lewis Moody.
Lawrence Dallaglio - who will play at number eight - will make first start since England beat the All Blacks at Twickenham in November, having won his last three caps as a replacement.
He will be reunited with fellow back row warriors Neil Back and Hill for the first time in almost two years. Between them the illustrious trio have won 159 caps.
Leonard, who won his 100th cap against the French, suffered a hamstring injury seven minutes before half-time and has not recovered, while Moody is sidelined with a shoulder problem.
As a result, Woodward has also made two switches on the bench, calling up uncapped London Irish prop Mike Worsley, with Wasps' back row forward Joe Worsley - no relation - taking over from Dallaglio.
Woodward confirmed Dawson, Leonard and Moody were not considered on medical grounds, and it also looks as though Leonard is struggling to make England's third RBS 6 Nations game against Italy at Twickenham on March 9.
England team to play Wales:
J Robinson (Sale Sharks), D Luger (Harlequins), W Greenwood (Harlequins), C Hodgson (Sale Sharks), B Cohen (Northampton), J Wilkinson (Newcastle), K Bracken (Saracens), G Rowntree (Leicester), S Thompson (Northampton), J White (Bristol Shoguns), M Johnson (Leicester, capt), B Kay (Leicester),R Hill (Saracens), N Back (Leicester), L Dallaglio (Wasps).
Replacements: M Regan (Leeds), M Worsley (London Irish), D Grewcock (Bath), J Worsley (Wasps), A Gomarsall (Gloucester), P Christophers (Bristol Shoguns), J Simpson-Daniel (Gloucester).