Gareth Thomas, who led the Lions in the last two Tests against the All Blacks, returns to lead the Welsh team having missed the last two games of the Grand Slam campaign with a broken thumb. The Toulouse star, the leading try scorer in French rugby this season, will captain Wales for the eighth time.
The other Welsh Lions in the 22 are Shane Williams, Stephen Jones, Brent Cockbain, Michael Owen and Gareth Cooper. While Thomas returns to the Welsh line-up to win his 84th cap, Colin Charvis will make his 78th appearance in the back row as he links up with Jonathan Thomas and vice-captain Michael Owen.
Mefin Davies, Adam Jones, Rob Sidoli, Cockbain and Owen are the selected forwards who joined backs Jones and Williams to figure in all Wales' Grand Slam matches last season.
Mark Taylor, who skippered Wales on the summer tour to North America, retains his position in midfield, where he is joined by Dragons outside half Ceri Sweeney.
Blues scrum half Michael Phillips wins the vote for the No 9 jersey in the enforced absence of Dwayne Peel to make his first appearance at the Millennium Stadium in a Welsh shirt while loose head prop Duncan Jones will pack down for the third game in a row.
"Mike was a vital member of our squad during the Six Nations last season, when Gareth Cooper was out injured, and he has earned a place in the starting line-up based on those performances and the form he has showed both in North America and for Cardiff Blues in recent matches," said Ruddock.
"Gareth is a great player, but is returning from ankle surgery and therefore hasn't played much rugby recently, whereas Mike has been ever-present for the Blues and has very much played himself into the side.
"Ceri Sweeney and Mark Taylor acquitted themselves extremely well in North America and we are pleased to be able to bring some continuity from that tour into this campaign.
"Obviously we are pleased to welcome a number of our Grand Slam winning side back into the squad from Lions duty and where we do have injuries we have been able to replace individuals from a position of strength.
"Colin Charvis returns and we will benefit from his experience and Jonathan Thomas is by no means new to the Wales set-up. We always try to include a fourth line-out jumper and are striving to improve in that area. Jonathan will help meet those requirements."
There are two uncapped players among the replacements. Newly qualified prop Chris Horsman acts as cover for the front row, while Scarlets' Lee Byrne joins Nicky Robinson and Cooper as back replacements.
"Chris and Lee both joined us this week and have settled in well. Given the magnitude and intensity of the clash it is possible that both will win their first caps for Wales on Saturday," said Ruddock.
The game will celebrate 100 years of fixtures between Wales and New Zealand and will be the 22nd meeting between the two nations. Wales won the first game, at Cardiff Arms Park on 16 December, 1905, by 3-0, but have not secured a victory since 1953 to leave New Zealand leading the series 18-3.
"We all still remember the clash with New Zealand last November, it was a magnificent match and one we still believe we should have won. Add to that the history factor and we are looking forward to the kind of game that will hopefully still be talked about in another 100 years," added Ruddock. "We have been talking about five steps to victory this week; mind-set, physicality, homework, opportunity and impact.
"New Zealand had a great escape last year and we are still kicking ourselves that we didn't win, so our mind-set is to front up and really nail this one down.
"Our Test results show that physically, as a squad, we have made a four per cent improvement in overall speed times and stamina throughout the squad.
"We have done our homework and know which areas we want to attack and we will make sure we take our opportunities.
"Finally, we want to make sure our game-plan has an impact on the opposition, cutting down time and space on their attack and imposing are game plan."
Gareth Thomas (capt)
Michael Owen (Vice-Capt)
New Zealand: Mils Muliaina (Auckland); Rico Gear (Nelson Bays), Conrad Smith (Wellington), Tana Umaga (capt, Wellington), Joe Rokocoko (Auckland); Dan Carter (Canterbury), Byron Kelleher (Waikato); Neemia Tialata (Wellington), Anton Oliver (Otago), Carl Hayman (Otago), Chris Jack (Canterbury), James Ryan (Otago), Jerry Collins (Wellington), Chris Masoe (Taranaki), Rodney So'oialo (Wellington)
Replacements: Andrew Hore (Taranaki), Tony Woodcock (North Harbour), Angus MacDonald (Auckland), Richie McCaw (Canterbury), Jimmy Cowan (Southland), Ma'a Nonu (Wellington), Leon MacDonald (Canterbury)