Australia were 27-19 winners in last weekend's first Test in Brisbane, but Howley's midweek team registered a morale-boosting 25-15 success in their tour match against Super Rugby franchise Brumbies on Tuesday.
The second Test follows in Melbourne on Saturday and, rather than be daunted by the tight turnaround or the quality of the opposition, Howley welcomes the chance for his players to pit themselves against some of the best sides in the world.
"The Wallabies will be a strong, world-class, competitive outfit," he said.
"They are number two in the world. We are always looking up at the upper echelons of the world rankings and we want to be there. You only get better by playing New Zealand, Australia and South Africa.
"The more we play against the Australians, the better we will become."
"It is a great opportunity on Saturday to play in another game of that intensity. Your decisions get questioned from the first to the 80th minute and that's where we need to get better."
As for the short preparation time he will have with his charges once they arrive in Melbourne, he was unruffled.
"We have two and a half sessions to get ready. That's life in Test rugby - Australia had it last week and we have it this week," he said.
Howley was also buoyed to see the midweek side showing signs of getting to grips with the different interpretations at the breakdown and tackle areas which caused them so many problems for the senior side in Brisbane.
"We made better decisions at the breakdown and we were able to close down the area between the ball carrier and support player much more easily," he said.
"That gave us quicker and better ball at the contact area."
Meanwhile, George North and Scott Williams are both expected to be fit to take a full part in training on Thursday.
North (dead leg) and his Scarlets team-mate Williams (facial injuries) were helped off the field in the opening match and have been receiving intensive treatment for their ailments.
Howley is confident they will now be able to train fully in the next session and be available to him for the weekend.
"Both players trained light on Tuesday morning and we are hoping they will both be able to train fully on Thursday. We have a day off on Wednesday as it is a travel day," said Howley.
"Touch wood they will both be available for selection for Saturday."
Howley was forced to send on his Brisbane try-scorer, Alex Cuthbert, when Aled Brew injured his hip against the Brumbies.
Cuthbert was himself taken off as a precaution in the second half when he went down in a heavy tackle. Another injury worry would have been a real headache to the Welsh coaches.
"We were cautions sending Alex on. He's obviously gone down and it is nothing untoward really and I think he will be fine for selection for the weekend," admitted a relieved Howley.
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