The only other change to the 22 sees 1997 and 2005 Lion Simon Shaw join the replacements, with Kennedy omitted from the squad completely.
Johnson has kept faith with the backline that helped beat the Pacific Islanders 39-13 last weekend, meaning debutant full back Delon Armitage retains the No15 shirt despite Matthew Tait's recovery from injury.
"Phil is our most experienced forward," said Johnson, who led England to World Cup glory against the Wallabies five years ago.
"He brings a lot of leadership, which will be important. He is a world-class player.
"We have two quality tight-head props. Phil's very fresh and in good form and Matt is a huge impact player.
"Tom had a good tour of New Zealand. It's tough on Nick not to be in the 22 but when you are picking your bench it's not always about your next best player but a different sort of player. We wanted what Shaw offers."
Johnson has dismissed any talk of a weakness in the Australian scrum, despite the difficulties England caused the Wallabies during the 2007 World Cup quarter final in Marseilles.
"The scrummage used to be a weakness for them, but it is not any more," added Johnson.
"They have worked very hard at it and against the All Blacks in the last Tri-Nations they had them under pressure.
"It's become the thing to talk about in these England-Australia games but we don't think we've got an advantage in the scrum going into Saturday's game. We need to be on the top of our game because we haven't squeezed that well for a while."
Australia, who beat Italy 30-20 last Saturday having lost out to New Zealand in Hong Kong a week earlier, are expected to name their side later on Tuesday afternoon.
England: Delon Armitage; Paul Sackey, Jamie Noon, Ricki Flutey, Ugo Monye; Danny Cipriani, Danny Care; Andrew Sheridan, Lee Mears, Phil Vickery, Steve Borthwick (captain), Tom Palmer, Tom Croft, Tom Rees, Nick Easter
Replacements: Dylan Hartley, Matt Stevens, Simon Shaw, James Haskell, Michael Lipman, Harry Ellis, Toby Flood