"Its nice for everyone to get a start and the only one who hasn't started now is Rob Kearney. It was only precautionary for Sam not to play up to now and it is a big game for him and the team," said head coach Gatland. I think the Reds will be a little big stronger than the Force, although they have still got a number of key players missing."
Even so, Ewen McKenzie's side will have 12 Qantas Wallabies in their matchday 23 and will go into the game with absolutely nothing to lose. They have a great record at Suncorp Stadium where they have lost only once a season for the past three years and they have a number of players who will have points to prove to on-looking Wallaby coach Robbie Deans.
And the fact the game is being played in what should be a packed stadium in Brisbane at the venue of the first Test will also have a bearing on proceedings. The Lions won't want to lose their 100% record at a ground where they will return for the vital opening game against the Qantas Wallabies in two weeks time.
Gatland's 'mixing and matching' means there is a chance for Wales centre Jonathan Davies to show what he can do at inside centre and for his midfield partner Manu Tuilagi to have a run in his preferred position of outside half. There are also changes on the wing, where Tommy Bowe switches to the left to see how he runs in tandem with two-try Alex Cuthbert from the opening game.
The skipper should feel very much at home in the all-Welsh Grand Slam back row of 2012 and it will be their task to keep the home hero, Quade Cooper, quiet. That is easier said than done, but will be vital if the Lions are to make it three from three.
Cooper is in the last chance saloon as far as selection for the Qantas Wallabies squad to face the Lions is concerned and a good game, especially defensively, could see him pick up one of the final six places in Deans' group.
"I've played against Quade a few times - he is a great player with fantastic footwork. He will pose a different threat at No 10 than we've faced so far," said Warburton.
"We are always learning and we want patches when our defence is under threat because you don't want to go into the Test matches with your defence undercooked. He will definitely be an attacking threat, but that's what you want to test out your defensive system."
Cooper will be in command of a Reds backline that is only missing Will Genia - and which will have two Wallabies to call on from the bench. The 2011 Super Rugby champions love to play attacking rugby and the Lions can expect fireworks in what promises to be a fast, furious and free-flowing.
The Reds have seven players away on national duty and their biggest loss, other than scrum half genius Genia, will be in the second row. James Horwill and Rob Simmons have been replaced by the former Ulster and Ireland A lock Ed O'Donoghue and Adam Wallace-Harrison.
They will pack down behind an all-international front row and have another former Wallaby, Beau Robinson, behind them. The blonde haired openside's battle with Warburton at the breakdown will be one of the game's cameos, while this season's Super Rugby ever-present Jake Schatz will relish his battle with Toby Faletau as he tries to push his international prospects.
The first game in Brisbane was always going to be the Lions' biggest test before their return for the first Test and all the talk and signs are that we'll learn more about Gatland's side after this one than we have in the opening two romps.