Conor Murray (scrumhalf), Chris Harris (centre) and Mako Vunipola (prop) come into the side for the second Test against South Africa at Cape Town Stadium on Saturday (kick-off 18h00 SA time).
Alun Wyn Jones is named captain to win his 11th successive Lions Test cap. The Welshman is again partnered by last Saturday’s Castle Lager player of the match, Maro Itoje.
Vunipola packs down with hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie and Tadhg Furlong to complete the front row.
Courtney Lawes wins his fourth Lions Test cap on the blind side flank joining Tom Curry on the open side and Jack Conan at No 8.
Historically, the Lions have lost just two Series after winning the first Test (against New Zealand in 1930 and Australia in 2001).
“As always, selection was incredibly tough,” said Gatland.
“However, we’ve made the changes we think are the right calls for the weekend’s game.
“It’ll be another tight contest. We know the Springboks will be hurting and they’ll throw everything at us on Saturday, but I think there’s plenty more to come from us too. We feel we can go up another level from where we were in the first Test and I would expect us to improve.
“It’s the biggest game on the Tour and we have to embrace the expectation that comes with it. As players and coaches, these are the games you want to be involved in. We’re relishing the opportunity to face the Springboks again on Saturday and potentially seal a Series win.”
British & Irish Lions team for second Test:
15. Stuart Hogg (Exeter Chiefs, Scotland) #783
14. Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, England) #816
13. Chris Harris (Gloucester Rugby, Scotland) #844
12. Robbie Henshaw (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) #824
11. Duhan van der Merwe (Worcester Warriors, Scotland) #841
10. Dan Biggar (Northampton Saints, Wales) #821
9. Conor Murray (Munster Rugby, Ireland) #790
8. Jack Conan (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) #839
7. Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, England) #853
6. Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, England) #826
5. Alun Wyn Jones – captain (Ospreys, Wales) #761
4. Maro Itoje (Saracens, England) #825
3. Tadhg Furlong (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) #818
2. Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, England) #851
1. Mako Vunipola (Saracens, England) #787
16. Ken Owens (Scarlets, Wales) #829
17. Rory Sutherland (Worcester Warriors, Scotland) #840
18. Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears, England) #814
19. Tadhg Beirne (Munster Rugby, Ireland) #838
20. Taulupe Faletau (Bath Rugby, Wales) #779
21. Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors, Scotland) #843
22. Owen Farrell (Saracens, England) #780
23. Elliot Daly (Saracens, England) #822