Bayonne scrum-half Mike Phillips is a certainty to start in Sunday's Dublin opener against Ireland, and he could be joined by full-back Lee Byrne and fly-half James Hook, now with Clermont Auvergne and Perpignan respectively.
All three players missed Wales' December defeat at home to Australia because of club commitments, but their experience is crucial to Welsh Six Nations ambitions given that they boast more than 150 caps between them.
"They are experienced players, they are comfortable playing international rugby," Howley said.
"They all seem to be enjoying their time in France, and it has been good to see them back in our environment.
"I am not concerned that Perpignan and Bayonne have been struggling. Rugby is sometimes not about what you do, but the other 14 players.
"Their mind-set seems good, and they want to be part of what they were during the World Cup. They have huge incentives to deliver."
Wales coach Warren Gatland could field a team containing just eight survivors from the World Cup quarter-final win against Ireland at the Aviva Stadium.
Three members of the pack that helped brush Ireland aside in Wellington - Gethin Jenkins, Alun-Wyn Jones and Luke Charteris - will be sidelined for varying time periods during the tournament.
Hookers Matthew Rees (calf strain) and Lloyd Burns (neck) are also absent, while Gatland will confirm later on Friday if centre Jamie Roberts, fly-half Rhys Priestland and flanker Dan Lydiate have recovered from their respective knocks.
Roberts has not played since suffering a knee injury two days before Christmas, while Scarlets star Priestland went off during a Heineken Cup game in Castres last month and Lydiate has been nursing ankle trouble.
In the final shake-up, it could be that Leigh Halfpenny, George North, Jonathan Davies, Phillips, Huw Bennett, Adam Jones, Sam Warburton and Toby Faletau are the only players who reappear on starting duty from Wellington.
Uncapped 21-year-old Ospreys centre Ashley Beck has emerged as a strong contender to replace Roberts, along with Scott Williams, while Hook is a probable replacement for Priestland and Ryan Jones the leading candidate as Lydiate's deputy.
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