The 26-year-old Toulouse player, preferred to Biarritz's Dimitri Yachvili, will be paired with club team-mate and France's promising fly-half Frederic Michalak in a totally new half-back combination for Les Bleus.
He will wear the number nine shirt which belonged to respected captain Galthie but Elissalde insists that he is unfazed by replacing the legend who quit rugby after the World Cup.
More worrying is the 80,000 crowd he will face at the Stade de France.
"Galthie was a great leader and had a huge influence on the game and the team," said Elissalde. "I will do my best to be a worthy successor.
"I know my qualities and qualifications as a rugby player, but I must admit that I am bit scared by the Stade de France. The environment will be impressive on Saturday."