France team manager Jo Maso has stressed the importance of looking ahead to the World Cup as his side struggles to come to terms with the shock defeat to Scotland in their RBS 6 Nations Championship opener.
Labelled pre-tournament favourites following an impressive autumn campaign, Les Bleus saw their Grand Slam hopes go up in smoke after losing 20-16 at Murrayfield.
Bernard Laporte's men proved unable to take control of the game after it became clear fly-half Frederic Michalak had failed to shake off a groin injury.
Coach Laporte and Maso have since announced a 28-man squad for Saturday's clash with Ireland at the Stade de France, which sees six experienced players recalled.
Hooker Raphael Ibanez, flankers Olivier Magne and Serge Betsen, lock Pascal Pape, centre Damien Traille and winger Aurelien Rougerie all make returns for what has become a must-win game if France are to reclaim the Six Nations title they relinquished to Wales last year.
Maso has a bigger prize in mind, with the World Cup due to be held on French soil next year, and defended the decision to call up so many players.
"We are working for the France v Ireland match obviously but the reason why we called up more players than planned is because of the prospect of having an enlarged squad for the World Cup," he told L'Equipe.
"Before the start of the tournament England called up a 36-man squad and worked with them all before reducing the team ahead of their match with Wales."
Laporte would have liked a similar-sized party, adding: "We have 28 players but if I could have had 35 I would have felt happier.
"The more we have the better as we prepare for the World Cup."
However, Laporte admits Sunday's defeat has left him scratching his head.
"They were all really good in November during the Test matches so we expected them to be as good in February," he said.
England Under-18 head coach John Fletcher insists his young side will be better for the experience after beating Italy in the bronze final to round out their 2015 Rugby Europe U18 Championship campaign in style.