The French team is still trying to get back on the winning track. I don't think they have yet recovered from their World Cup failure with their defeat to England in the semi-final and their fourth-placed finish.
This year's RBS 6 Nations tournament will be a competition where they will have to show a new spirit and also change a few things such as their game tactics and get used to playing in rainy conditions, which was one of the excuses they gave for their defeat to England.
The fact that Bernard Laporte was renamed coach is a good thing because it proves they want to work with a certain continuity. However this year will be crucial for him.
Even if he has put pen to paper to a four-year contract no one can be sure of anything and this season will be essential for his future.
Fabien Pelous was named captain as a replacement for the retired Fabien Galthie and once again this shows the team's commitment to continuity.
He is the most experienced player and he has already captained the team. He was also very close to Galthie which makes him a natural successor. Because of all that I don't think Galthie's departure will weigh too much on his team-mates.
France's first clash against Ireland is set to be a great test for them and will help them show their potential, though I believe England, the RBS 6 Nations defending champions and the 2003 world champions, should win it again.
Some of their players have however retired and they have injuries to key players such as fly-half Jonny Wilkinson. But everything could happen in the final tie at the Stade de France on March 27.
Otherwise, I would also keep an eye on Wales who are definitely getting back on track.
Italy Under-20s held off a late Samoa blitz to retain their place in the World Rugby U20 Championship on Saturday and head coach Alessandro Troncon believes the experience will have served as a valuable lesson for his young troops.