Huxley, 27, has been handed his chance in the number 15 jersey in the absence of the injured Chris Latham.
"The squad they (Wales) have brought out is different to their Six Nations squad but they have added 200 caps of Test experience and will field a very strong team on Saturday night," said Connolly.
"We're expecting a very competitive Test which will give us a good starting point for the season and help us understand where we're at as team."
Flanker Phil Waugh will be captain the side after recovering from an ankle injury, with Stirling Mortlock and Smith named as vice-captains.
Dunning, Stephen Moore and Guy Shepherdson make up the front row, with Mark Chisholm, named alongside Nathan Sharpe at lock.
Brumbies lock Dan Vickerman, who is recovering from a shoulder reconstruction will come off the bench, while flankers Waugh and Rocky Elsom and number eight Wycliff Palu complete the Wallabies pack.
Matt Giteau remains at half-back, keeping out Gregan, Stephen Larkham is at fly-half, while Ashley-Cooper plays at the unfamiliar position of inside centre, with Mark Gerrard and Drew Mitchell on the wings and Mortlock at outside centre.
Hooker Adam Freier returns to the Wallabies line-up on the replacements bench alongside Gregan, Smith, Vickerman, Benn Robinson, Stephen Hoiles and Scott Staniforth.