Wallabies captain Stephen Moore has been dropped to the bench in favour of Andrew Ready.
There had been signs over the past fortnight that Reds coach Nick Stiles was leaning towards making the shift and he has evidently decided the right time to make the change is against the Lions.
The pair split playing time down the middle against the Crusaders, with Moore not returning to the field after the half-time break.
The Wallabies skipper has eased into his work this season but his first half last Saturday was his best yet, a factor that no doubt made the decision far tougher for Stiles.
Ready is a Reds fan favourite.He has been earmarked as a future Wallaby after consistently showcasing his unique skill set last season.
His work around the breakdown is akin to having a fourth backrower on the field and the lineout ran at 90.6 percent last season - the third best mark in Super Rugby.
"One of the benefits of our squad is we have genuine depth in a number of positions," Stiles said.
"Both Andrew and Stephen have been exceptional for us over the first few weeks.
"Stephen has started the first few rounds, but we’ve got complete faith in Andrew to take on the starting role and having a guy of Stephen’s quality on the bench provides us with unmatched experience at the back end of the game."Izack Rodda was dragged against the Crusaders after copping a head knock and it will keep him out of the 23-man squad.
Kane Douglas regains his starting spot, with Lukhan Tui slotting into the vacant spot on the bench.
"It’s disappointing not to be able to give Izack another run, but with the travel over here, he just didn’t have enough time to train and get through all the necessary protocols that come with a head knock," Stiles said.
"Again, we’ve got a lot of quality depth in the lock position.
"Both Kane and Lukhan bring a lot of aggression and physicality, so they’re a good fit for this game."
IN: Lukhan Tui
OUT: Izack Rodda (concussion)
Reds team to take on the Lions
1. James Slipper (C)
2. Andrew Ready
3. Sam Talakai
4. Rob Simmons
5. Kane Douglas
6. Hendrik Tui
7. George Smith
8. Scott Higginbotham
9. Nick Frisby
10. Quade Cooper
11. Eto Nabuli
12. Duncan Paia’aua
13. Samu Kerevi
14. Izaia Perese
15. Karmichael Hunt
16. Stephen Moore
17. Markus Vanzati
18. Taniela Tupou
19. Lukhan Tui
20. Adam Korczyk
21. James Tuttle
22. Jake McIntyre
23. Chris Kuridrani
The Reds take on the Lions on Sunday morning, kicking off at 2:15am AEDT, broadcast LIVE on FOX SPORTS.