Lee Byrne has rallied Wales following their first RBS 6 Nations defeat in almost two years, declaring: "The championship is far from lost."
A 21-16 reversal against France in Paris dashed Welsh hopes of a record-equalling ninth successive Six Nations victory.
It also ruined any chance of first back-to-back Grand Slams since 1909 after France recovered from a 13-3 deficit to end Warren Gatland’s unbeaten Six Nations run as Wales head coach.
But with two games remaining - Italy in Rome and Ireland at the Millennium Stadium - Wales could still successfully defend their Six Nations crown.
And full-back Byrne, who scored a first-half try when he collected Stephen Jones’ brilliant long pass and shredded the French defence, insists the tournament remains alive for Wales.
“The championship is far from lost,” he said. “We can’t win a Grand Slam, but the championship is still there.
“It will show the character of the squad - we haven’t been in this position for a while in the Six Nations - and it is about us showing that character.
“The French really muscled up, and they probably wanted it more than us at the end of the day. They were hungrier for the win.
“Our dressing room was a quiet one, but we will learn and move on from this.”
Wales, despite a promising start, could never impose themselves on France during the Six Nations’ first Friday night fixture.
Les Bleus dominated the breakdown area, with back-row stars Thierry Dusautoir and Imanol Harinordoquy making life distinctly uncomfortable for a Wales side that spent long periods stuck in their own half.
“We just couldn’t get our patterns going,” acknowledged Byrne.
“In fairness to France, they slowed a lot of ball down. Dusautoir was outstanding, and he got his hands on everything.
“There were some big hits out there - they were probably more physical than us - but we will bounce back. We need to put in a a big performance against Italy in Rome (on March 14).”
Byrne’s Wales and Ospreys colleague, lock Alun-Wyn Jones, also believes the title holders remain firmly in the hunt for silverware this season.
“We haven’t made history, but you never know what can happen over the rest of the tournament,” he said.
“There are still another two games, and we are very positive about the ones coming up against Italy and Ireland.”