Williams hasn't played since rupturing his Achilles at the Rio Olympics in August.
He's one of three players welcomed back by the Blues with Steven Luatua returning after suspension and fellow loose forward Blake Gibson from injury.
All Black Rieko Ioane earns a recall to the starting line-up at centre after a big contribution off the bench in the win over the Western Force last weekend.
"We have missed Steven's undoubted skills and it also allows Jerome (Kaino) to return to his role at number six where he is regarded as the best in the world," Umaga said. "Rieko is an extraordinary talent and showed his class off the bench to earn his spot back in the starting line-up."
Auckland lock Scott Scrafton gets his first start at lock to add to the Blues line-up resources after an impressive effort as a replacement last weekend, with Patrick Tuipulotu to come off the bench.
He's joined on the bench by All Black Ofa Tu'ungafasi, along with Maori All Blacks Billy Guyton and Akira Ioane.
Also coming on to the bench is North Harbour's Bryn Gatland, who trained with the Blues pre-season and comes off a stint with the Crusaders, filling in for the injured first fives Ihaia West and Stephen Perofeta.
The team is:
1 Pauliasi Manu, 2 James Parsons (C), 3 Charlie Faumuina, 4 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 5 Scott Scrafton, 6 Jerome Kaino, 7 Blake Gibson, 8 Steven Luatua; 9 Augustine Pulu, 10 Piers Francis, 11 Melani Nanai, 12 George Moala, 13. Rieko Ioane, 14 Matt Duffie, 15 Michael Collins.
Replacements: 16 Matt Moulds, 17 Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 18 Sione Mafileo, 19 Patrick Tuipulotu, 20 Akira Ioane, 21 Billy Guyton, 22 Bryn Gatland, 23 Sonny Bill Williams.
Unavailable due to injury/suspension: Sam Nock (shoulder), Rene Ranger (ankle), Stephen Perofeta (ankle), Alex Hodgman (calf), Branden Nansen (wrist/hand), Ihaia West (ankle), Declan O'Donnell (concussion).
Photo: PHOTOSPORT Sonny Bill Williams training with the Blues.