Most notable perhaps is the dropping of Welsh scrum-half Mike Phillips from the squad altogether, in-part owing to a knee injury that has been troubling the Welshman, with England’s Ben Youngs making the step-up from the midweek team to start the second test alongside his brother, hooker, Tom Youngs.
Flying Irishman Tommy Bowe comes in for first test try-scorer Alex Cuthbert. Bowe will wear a hurling glove in the game after he had three screws inserted in the metacarpal bone in his right hand.
Two injury-enforced changes in the pack comes in the shape of Mako Vunipola and Geoff Parling replacing Alex Corbiserio and Paul O’Connell in the front and second row.
Dan Lydiate, who played well in midweek, comes in for flying flanker Tom Croft.
“This is a do-or-die match for Australia,” said Gatland. “It is going to be a real battle out there and we have decided to add a bit more physicality to our side up front, and Dan [Lydiate] brings that. Then we have got the explosiveness coming off the bench with Tom Croft and Sean O’Brien.
“I don’t know about not changing a winning side; it is about picking the best team to do the job for us.
“We can win this series by winning on Saturday and that is what our whole focus needs to be. The last thing we want to do is think about it being 1-1 and having to play another game in Sydney. Everything for us is about Saturday night.”
Australia, for their part will retain James O’Connor at stand-off, Joe Tomane replaces Digby Ione on the wing.
The Wallabies will be bolstered by the return centres Adam Ashley-Cooper and Christian Leali’ifano who will take on the kicking duties at the Etihad Stadium. The pack remains unchanged and will surely look to build on its impressive performance in the first test.
Lions: L Halfpenny; T Bowe, B O’Driscoll, J Davies, G North; J Sexton, B Youngs; M Vunipola, T Youngs, A Jones, A-W Jones, G Parling, D Lydiate, S Warburton , J Heaslip
Replacements: R Hibbard, R Grant, D Cole, T Croft, S O’Brien, C Murray, O Farrell, A Cuthbert
Australia: K Beale; I Folau, A Ashley-Cooper, C Leali’ifano, J Tomane; J O’Connor, W Genia; B Robinson, S Moore, B Alexander, K Douglas, J Horwill, B Mowen, M Hooper, W Palu
Replacements: S Fainga’a, J Slipper, S Kepu, R Simmons, L Gill, N Phipps, R Horne, J Mogg