Instead, the 34-year-old was
one of six players
to make way as Gatland looked to prevent a repeat of the toothless display in which his side failed to make a single line break last weekend.
"When I go back to the UK and say 'Did I make the decision because I believed it was right, or did I make it because it was the right political decision?', I can put my hand on my heart and say I think it is the right rugby decision," Gatland said.
O'Driscoll decision brave - McGeechan
In O'Driscoll's absence, Jamie Roberts - one of a record-equalling 10 Welshmen selected - will be reunited with international team-mate Jonathan Davies in the centres after he recovered from the
that kept him out of the first two Tests.
For Australia, head coach Robbie Deans has made only one change by bringing in flanker George Smith for his 111th international appearance.
He will be hoping for history to repeat itself, as 12 years ago, the Aussies recovered from an opening Test loss to claim their first ever series win over the Lions with a thrilling 29-23 final victory at the same ground - then called Stadium Australia.
"To have achieved what George has throughout his career, and return to play at the highest level, after such a long break, is a testament to the quality of the man," Deans said.
This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.