Warren Galtand has selected Alex Corbisiero in his British & Irish Lions XV for their first Test against Australia this Saturday.
The England prop missed out on the original Lions squad and only teamed up with the tourists after Irishman Ciaran Healy was ruled out of the match with an ankle injury.
Mako Vunipola was strongly considered a favourite for the starting role against the Wallabies, but London Irish prop Corbisiero has been given the nod despite starting just one game of the series since being called up from England's tour of Argentina. He will now partner Tom Youngs and Welsh tight head Adam Jones in the front row.
"I just wanted to make the most of the opportunities I was given and try to put my hand up" Corbisiero said, BBC Sport report.
"I have tried just to focus on my own game and make sure my set piece is accurate and work hard around the park. The coaches had a tough call because there are a lot of quality players out here. I am very excited and proud to be selected."
Jonathan Sexton and Mike Phillips have been named at half-back for Saturday's test in Brisbane.
Elsewhere, Gatland has named an all-Welsh back three with George North returning from a hamstring injury to feature alongside compatriots Leigh Halfpenny and Alex Cuthbert, while injuries to centres Manu Tuilagi and Jamie Roberts leave Jonathan Davies to partner Brian O'Driscoll in an unfamiliar position of inside-centre.
The experienced duo of Alun-Wyn Jones and Paul-O'Connell partner up again in the second row while captain Sam Warburton will start only his third game of the tour, alongside Tom Croft and Jamie Heaslip in the back row.
"After six matches we have arrived at the first Test and have selected our strongest possible side with only Jamie Roberts, Tommy Bowe and Manu Tuilagi unavailable for selection," Gatland said.
"The Wallabies at home pose a huge challenge, but the Test team contains 20 of the players that played against the Waratahs in what was our best match to date.
"We now have a couple of more days of match preparation to ensure we improve again on that performance."
British & Irish Lions starting XV: Leigh Halfpenny (Wales), Alex Cuthbert (Wales), Brian O'Driscoll (Ireland), Jonathan Davies (Wales), George North (Wales), Jonathan Sexton (Ireland), Mike Phillips (Wales); Alex Corbisiero (England), Tom Youngs (England), Adam Jones (Wales), Alun Wyn Jones (Wales), Paul O'Connell (Ireland), Tom Croft (England), Sam Warburton (Wales, capt), Jamie Heaslip (Ireland).
Replacements: Richard Hibbard (Wales), Mako Vunipola (England), Dan Cole (England), Geoff Parling (England), Dan Lydiate (Wales), Ben Youngs (England), Owen Farrell (England), Sean Maitland (Scotland).