It will be the Edinburgh lock's first Scotland cap as he bids to help his side sign off from the 2013 RBS 6 Nations in style by heaping more misery on les Bleus, who have just one point to their name after four matches.
And after revealing that it took some time for him to come down off the ceiling after finding out he would be starting, Gilchrist's mind soon turned to thoughts of taking to the pitch in Paris - something he has thought about for some time.
"I was looking towards the bench [when the team was posted up] and when I didn't see my name I thought I might not be involved," Gilchrist told The Scotsman.
"I then looked over and went 'oooh'. It was a blind panic at first looking for my name and then when I saw I was starting I was massively excited.
"I have played Yoann Maestri against Toulouse before, and he is a big physical player.
"I'm looking forward to Saturday. It is a top-class place to play rugby. I have watched matches at the Stade de France with envy, thinking how great it would be to play there.
"It feels surreal I will be running out there starting for Scotland and, to be honest, it probably hasn't quite sunk in yet."