France coach Bernard Laporte has hinted that some of his team will be playing for their international futures in the final two rounds of RBS 6 Nations games.
He threatened to bring a host of new players into the France squad for summer trips to Argentina and New Zealand, essentially challenging those currently in possession of the blue jersey prove their worth.
After naming his team for the match against Italy in Rome, which includes Thomas Castaignede and Frederic Michalak, Laporte said: "We could make changes for the trips to Argentina and New Zealand in order to look at new players before picking our squad for the World Cup."
France team manager Jo Maso has called for a massive improvement following defeat in Ireland in the team's last outing.
"We lost the title after defeat in Ireland. We really want to win the next two games and there will be a really big effort from the players," said Maso.
On Thomas Castaignede's return to the side, Maso added: "It is logical for him to return to the team as he is on good form and will give the backs some extra punch."
Even though Michalak has not played for the French since their opening match of last season against Italy, Maso is confident that his selection will prove well judged.
"It is logical to bring him in as he is playing well at the moment," added the team manager. "He has also been doing a lot of goalkicking training."
Sebastien Chabal of Bourgoin, who was originally selected in the France squad, has been forced to withdraw after picking up an ankle injury in his side's 49-23 victory over Pau at the weekend and has been replaced by Patrick Tabacco of Stade Francais.
France team to play Italy in the RBS 6 Nations at the Stadio Flaminio:
Backs: Clement Poitrenaud, Aurelien Rougerie, Thomas Castaignede, Damien Traille, Xavier Garbajosa, Frederic Michalak, Dimitri Yachvili,
Forwards: Imanol Harinordoquy, Olivier Magne, Serge Betsen, Olivier Brouzet, Fabien Pelous, Sylvain Marconnet, Raphael Ibanez, Jean-Jacques Crenca.
Replacements: Jean-Baptiste Rue, Olivier Milloud, David Auradou, Patrick Tabacco, Jean-Baptiste Elissalde, Gerald Merceron, Vincent Clerc.