Maitland, 24, has made just a handful of appearances for Glasgow Warriors since his switch from the Crusaders this season but has been thrown into Scotland's starting line-up by Johnson.
Born to a Scottish father, Maitland has fond memories of Twickenham, having scored two tries in the Crusaders' one-off match with the Sharks back in 2011.
"I've spoken about the importance of this competition, the history and tradition of it, and you couldn't get a more mouth-watering opening than the game between international rugby's oldest foes," said Johnson.
"Selection for us has been about form but also with an eye to the future.
"Sean Maitland is very proud to be pulling on the Scotland jersey for the first time. His family will be rapt because they raised him in New Zealand always reminding him of his Scottish heritage, getting up in the early hours of the morning to watch both the Five and Six Nations games on the TV.
"He's shown he can play footy with the best of them and the impact he's made since arriving at Glasgow in the autumn has underlined what we'd seen of him playing for the Crusaders in Super Rugby."
Maitland is one of six Glasgow Warriors in the side with Stuart Hogg lining up at full-back, Sean Lamont at outside centre and Ruaridh Jackson at fly-half.
Edinburgh's Greig Laidlaw, one of two vice-captains, partners Jackson at half-back while Matt Scott will wear the No.12 jersey and flying winger Tim Visser, who has scored four tries in his five Scotland appearances, lines up on the left.
Saracens' Kelly Brown skippers the side from openside flanker, joining Beattie - who last played for Scotland in August 2011 but has impressed for Montpellier of later - and Alasdair Strokosch.
Glasgow's Ryan Grant also vice-captains the side from loosehead prop with Euan Murray at tighthead while Richie Gray and Jim Hamilton line up in the second row.
15 Stuart Hogg (Glasgow Warriors)
14 Sean Maitland (Glasgow Warriors)
13 Sean Lamont (Glasgow Warriors)
12 Matt Scott (Edinburgh Rugby)
11 Tim Visser (Edinburgh Rugby)
10 Ruaridh Jackson (Glasgow Warriors)
9 Greig Laidlaw (Edinburgh Rugby)
1 Ryan Grant (Glasgow Warriors)
2 Dougie Hall (Glasgow Warriors)
3 Euan Murray (Worcester Warriors)
4 Richie Gray (Sale Sharks)
5 Jim Hamilton (Gloucester Rugby)
6 Alasdair Strokosch (Perpignan)
7 Kelly Brown (Saracens) captain
8 Johnnie Beattie (Montpellier)
16 Ross Ford (Edinburgh Rugby)
17 Moray Low (Glasgow Warriors)
18 Geoff Cross (Edinburgh Rugby)
19 Alastair Kellock (Glasgow Warriors)
20 David Denton (Edinburgh Rugby)
21 Henry Pyrgos (Glasgow Warriors)
22 Duncan Weir (Glasgow Warriors)
23 Max Evans (Castres)