Lions Tour 2005: Saturday, June 4Bay of Plenty v Lions, Rotorua International Stadium, 8.10am Irish time (live Sky Sports 1, RTE Radio 1)
Lock Malcolm O'Kelly has recovered from an abdominal muscle strain to take his place among the replacements next weekend, while the 30-year-old's Leinster and Ireland colleague Gordon D'Arcy also makes the bench.
Leinster centre O'Driscoll, will skipper the 2005 Lions for the first time, in his seventh outing in the famous red jersey.
The Dubliner, who made his Lions debut against Western Province in June 2001, said: "After all the waiting and the preparation it will be great to get out there and play the first match in New Zealand.
"This is a strong side and we can't wait to get out in front of the New Zealand public and show what we can do on the rugby field."
O'Driscoll will be partnered by Wales star Gavin Henson, with a number of favourites for Test places included in the backline, namely Josh Lewsey, at full-back, and Welsh scrum-half Dwayne Peel.
O'Gara is also given a timely boost and chance to impress as Peel's halfback partner. The 27-year-old Corkman started the Lions 2001 tour opener against Western Australia in Perth, kicking 13 conversions out of 18 in a record 116-10 victory.
O'Gara's Munster colleague O'Connell, 25, cannot wait to step out for his Lions debut.
"It will be a tremendous honour for me to pull on a Lions jersey for the first time. It's really exciting to play alongside players of such quality like Lawrence Dallaglio and Martyn Williams.
"I will be playing with players who I have admired for such a long time," added the 6ft 6in lock.
"It will be a great experience and an important test for both me and for the team."
Bay of Plenty: tbc
BRITISH & IRISH LIONS:
(15) Josh Lewsey (Wasps/England)(14) Mark Cueto (Sale Sharks/England)(13) Brian O'Driscoll (Leinster/Ireland) (Capt)(12) Gavin Henson (Ospreys/Wales)(11) Tom Shanklin (Cardiff Blues/Wales)
(16) Steve Thompson (Northampton Saints/England)(17) Andrew Sheridan (Sale Sharks/England)(18) Malcolm O'Kelly (Leinster/Ireland)(19) Martin Corry (Leicester/England)(20) Matt Dawson (Wasps/England)(21) Charlie Hodgson (Sale Sharks/England)(22) Gordon D'Arcy (Leinster/Ireland)
Referee: Paul Honiss (New Zealand)