Howley said: "Jonny is an integral part of the England set-up and I'm sure Martin Johnson thinks he will be a huge cog for them in the next five games. I've no doubts that he will start against us.
"Jonny is a player who possesses all the world-class basics of the game. Having played with him for the British Lions, he has a mental toughness which is probably tougher than most players in both attack and defence.
"He can score a drop goal from anywhere in your own half and his kicking is second to none in world rugby."
Wales are boosted by the return from long-term injury of Lions stars Lee Byrne and Adam Jones to the squad for the trip to HQ. The duo missed the autumn series and Howley believes full-back Byrne and tight-head prop Jones will aid their cause considerably.
Howley added: "Having Adam and Lee back in the squad is a massive boost because they both bring experience and world-class attributes.
"Only looking at their performances for the British Lions is a disservice to both as during the last two Six Nations, Lee has been the stand-out full-back in the northern hemisphere and deserved his selection for the first Lions Test.
"His aerial prowess has become more and more important with the way the game is going while his left-boot is just as important. He picks great lines in attack and is solid in defence - he is the all-round full-back.
"Everyone in the game knows how important the set-piece has become as well and Adam Jones is now the leading tight-head prop in Europe.
"It's an area we know we must improve on from the autumn Tests and Adam will bring that improvement."