Destructive Welsh centre Jamie Roberts comes in at inside centre, after recovering sufficiently from a hamstring injury, with Jonathan Davies moving to outside centre.

Also omitted from the starting XI is Irish number eight Jamie Heaslip, replaced by Toby Faletou, with Irish flanker Sean O’Brien coming in for the injured Sam Warburton.

Welsh lock Alun Wyn-Jones has been named captain of the side, with Geoff Parling continuing to partner the Welshman in the second row.

Gatland has looked to sure up the scrum which was second best for much of the second test, with Alex Corbisiero and Richard Hibbard starting in the front row.

Mike Phillips returns at scrum-half with Ben Youngs dropped from the squad altogether.

“It all comes down to Saturday, winner takes all. We know we can leave nothing in the tank and that only a complete performance will get us across the line,” said Gatland.

“Picking this team was not easy and ultimately with several players available after recovering from injury the head overruled the heart in many selection decisions.

“It has been a challenging tour and we have had our fair share of injuries but we always knew that would be the case. Brian O’Driscoll is a great player and has had a wonderful career but for the final Test in Sydney we just felt Jamie Roberts’s presence offered us something more.

“Mike Phillips and Alex Corbisiero were first Test selections and would probably have played in the second Test if not for injury. Richard Hibbard, Toby Faletau and Sean O’Brien have also earned their starting places.”

Speaking on the Today Programme Ian Robertson the BBC’s rugby commentator called the decision “outrageous”.

“You just wonder if they got a lucky bag and picked some names out.

“It’s a massive, massive mistake,” he concluded.

Gatland’s selection suggests he wants to remedy the lack of midfield penetration the Lions have suffered from in the first two tests.

Jamie Roberts was in devastating form on the tour prior to a hamstring injury. Gatland appears to have opted for experience in his centre partnership, going with Davies, with whom Roberts has played more times for Wales than any other centre pairing.

Gatland has picked just about the most powerful team he could assemble; with the return of Phillips plus George North and Tommy Bowe retaining their places, his back line, in particular, is enormous.

Hibbard, whilst struggling on tour with his line-out throwing, has carried well and marshalled the front row expertly.

Vunipola, who many cited as struggling in the scrum in the second test, is dropped to the bench with the Corbisiero adding further steel to a formidable front row.