Brian O'Driscoll
Brian O'Driscoll will not play any part in the final Test against Australia. [Reuters]

British and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland has named Wales lock Alun Wyn Jones as captain for the third and final Test against Australia on Saturday after Brian O'Driscoll was dropped from the squad.

The Irishman was the favourite to replace injured skipper Sam Warburton but has missed out all together as Gatland makes wholesale changes after the narrow 16-15 loss in the second Test.

O'Driscoll responded to the news on Twitter, writing: "Obviously totally gutted at being left out for deciding Test but all efforts go into preparing the boys to see it through."

The 34 year old had captained the Lions in the first Test in New Zealand in 2005 and in six other tour games. He has also led Ireland on 84 occasions but it seems his performances in the first two games against Australia have led to Gatland looking elsewhere.

There are six changes in total to the side that was defeated with centre Wyn Jones one of 10 Welshmen named in the side, equalling a Lions record.

Jamie Roberts returns after injury, while prop Alex Corbisiero, flanker Sean O'Brien, hooker Richard Hibbard, number eight Toby Faletau and scrum-half Mike Phillips are also included.

There is also a change of position for Jonathan Davies who reverts to his more regular role at outside centre, having played the first two Tests alongside O'Driscoll in the number 12 jersey.

With the series tied at 1-1 Gatland - who is also head coach of Wales - has turned to many of the players he knows the best as he looks to secure a victory in the final Test and write his name in Lions history.

The 49 year old Kiwi admitted it was probably the first time in "15 years of rugby" that a coach had dropped O'Driscoll.

"It's not easy for that to be the first time but he is still going to be very important for us in the next 72 hours in terms of his experience and leadership," Gatland added.

"Brian was disappointed but he appreciated that he was spoken to before the team announcement. Jamie is back fit and has been given the nod because of his partnership with Davies."

There will be plenty of pressure on the shoulder of Wyn Jones who has never previously captained the Lions but he has captained Wales once before and is a vastly experienced international player with 70 caps to his name.

"He leads from the front. He's been outstanding in the lead-up games and was one of the first names on the teamsheet when we picked the side for the first two Tests," said Gatland. "He'll lead by example. There are leaders in other positions as well."

The 27 year old admitted he was flattered to be handed the captains armband but is focused on helping the side claim a first series win in 16 years.

"Hopefully I've been selected for the way I play and not necessarily the way I lead," explained Wyn Jones. "I played from the start of the tour with an eye on getting into the first Test.

"To be selected in the position I am for the final Test is a pretty special moment for me personally, but obviously there's still a job to do."

There are further changes amongst the replacements with lock Richie Gray and centre Manu Tuilagi selected, while hooker Tom Youngs and prop Mako Vunipola drop down to the bench.

Scrum-half Ben Youngs and number eight Jamie Heaslip have been omitted from the final 23 as the Lions look to secure their first series victory since defeating South Africa back in 1997.

British and Irish Lions: Leigh Halfpenny (Wales); Tommy Bowe (Ireland), Jonathan Davies (Wales), Jamie Roberts (Wales), George North (Wales); Jonathan Sexton (Ireland), Mike Phillips (Wales); Alex Corbisiero (England), Richard Hibbard (Wales), Adam Jones (Wales), Alun Wyn Jones (captain, Wales), Geoff Parling (England), Dan Lydiate (Wales), Sean O'Brien (Ireland), Toby Faletau (Wales).

Replacements: Tom Youngs (England), Mako Vunipola (England), Dan Cole (England), Richie Gray (Scotland), Justin Tipuric (Wales), Conor Murray (Ireland), Owen Farrell (England), Manu Tuilagi (England).