Coach Tom Tierney must pick his players up from a demoralising defeat to France in farcical circumstances when the lights went out in Ashbourne.
Another disappointment at home tonight (KO 7.30) would turn off the lights on their ambition to win the Six Nations for a second time in two seasons.
There have already been a number of surprises so far, the most eye-catching was the world champions England's 13-0 fall to Wales on the first weekend.
Ireland: N Briggs; H Tyrrell, J Murphy, K Fitzhenry, A Miller; N Stapleton, L Muldoon; R O'Reilly, G Bourke, A Egan, S Spence, ML Reilly, P Fitzpatrick, C Molloy, H O'Brien.
England: L Cattell; R Laybourn, A Brown, C Large, S Gregson; K McLean (capt), B Blackburn; R Clark, V Fleetwood, L Keates, T Taylor, A Scott, A Matthews, H Gallagher, H Millar-Mills.