Published Thursday, 14 March 2013
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Sexton had recovered from his hamstring injury and was originally named in the squad at lunchtime on Thursday, however it later emerged that he went over on his foot in training.
"A scan has confirmed that he has torn a tendon in his left foot and is therefore ruled out this weekend," a statement from the IRFU said.
Jackson will now move up from the bench to the starting XV earning his third cap, while Ian Madigan comes into the replacements after making his debut against France.
Craig Gilroy, who missed last weekend's clash at the Aviva Stadium because of a groin strain, has recovered and will return on the right wing.
There he replaces Fergus McFadden, who is out with a damaged rib. Ulstermen Iain Henderson and the uncapped Paul Marshall are on the bench.
Brian O'Driscoll remains at number 13 for what has been tipped as his final Six Nations match.
Both he and centre partner Luke Marshall have been passed fit for the trip to Rome after suffering concussion during last week's draw with France.
Ireland have never lost to Italy in the Six Nations. If they win on Saturday, and France win against Scotland in Paris this weekend, it could secure a third place finish for Kidney's side.
Ireland: R Kearney, C Gilroy, B O'Driscoll, L Marshall, K Earls, P Jackson, C Murray; C Healy, R Best, M Ross, M McCarthy, D Ryan, P O'Mahony, S O'Brien, J Heaslip.
Replacement: S Cronin, D Kilcoyne, S Archer, D Toner, I Henderson, P Marshall, I Madigan, L Fitzgerald.