Fabien Pelous will continue to act like a skipper in the run-up to the World Cup, even though he has been stripped of France's captain's armband.
Toulouse lock Pelous has led Les Bleus since the last World Cup, but has not played for his country since the November Tests because of injury.
In the meantime, close friend Raphael Ibanez guided the team to a successful defence of their RBS 6 Nations Championship title and was recently appointed skipper for the World Cup this autumn.
Pelous now has a battle on his hands to regain his place in the starting XV for the showpiece, with Jerome Thion and Lionel Nallet impressing in his absence.
But he will carry on offering his experience and know-how as France fine-tune their preparations.
'It was to be expected that Raphael would be confirmed as captain,' he said.
'I haven't played for France for almost a year and I must earn my place.
'But I have not said my last word. Even if I am no longer captain, I am going to bring my experience to help the French team.
'I want to be reassuring. I am going to function as if I was captain.'
The France squad are currently training in Val-D'Isere, with the World Cup less than two months away.