The odds may be stacked heavily against France retaining their RBS 6 Nations title this weekend but winger Cedric Heymans insists that is no reason for them to take a half-hearted approach towards their showdown with Italy in Rome.
France need to claim a winning margin of at least 42 points against the Italians and then hope Ireland can upset Grand Slam-chasing Wales in Cardiff later on Saturday if they are to keep the trophy they won last year.
It is a tall order for Les Bleus and it won't be made any easier by an Azzurri outfit also desperately seeking a victory to have any chance of avoiding the wooden spoon.
However, if France are to lose their crown as Europe's top dogs this weekend, then Heymans wants them to go down fighting.
He said: "We are going to prepare seriously because we want to finish with style.
"The Italians know how to upset their opponents and if we let them do that against us they will win."
France's chances of winning the RBS 6 Nations for a second successive year looked to have been ended by their 24-18 home defeat to Wales last month, but Bernard Laporte's troops bounced back superbly to beat previously undefeated Ireland 26-19 in Dublin in their last outing.
And Heymans feels his side should use their display in that match as a bench-mark for Saturday.
"We must take this match seriously, we will prepare for it like the others," he added.
"I think the coach of Italy has told his players that they will beat us in front of their crowd, well, that's good because that will increase our motivation.''
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