"There's no doubting James is a world-class leader, but it's important he is putting his own personal performance first and playing to the level we know he is capable of on a weekly basis," BBC Sport quotes McKenzie as saying.
"By his own lofty standards, James would admit he hasn't been at peak form. So, we've made the decision to this week remove the added pressures and responsibilities of being a captain so that he can focus entirely on bringing his 'A' game."
England coach Stuart Lancaster is expected to name his side for the clash at Twickenham later on today.
Australia team: 15. Israel Folau 14. Adam Ashley-Cooper 13. Tevita Kuridrani 12. Matt Toomua 11. Nick Cummins 10. Quade Cooper (vice-captain) 9. Will Genia 8. Ben Mowen (captain) 7. Michael Hooper 6. Scott Fardy 5. James Horwill 4. Sitaleki Timani 3. Ben Alexander 2. Stephen Moore 1. James Slipper. Reserves: 16. Saia Fainga'a 17. Benn Robinson 18. Sekope Kepu 19. Kane Douglas 20. Ben McCalman 21. Nic White 22. Christian Leali'ifano 23. Bernard Foley