France coach Bernard Laporte hopes the changes he has made will help his side overcome unbeaten Ireland on March 12.
The defending champions' hopes of repeating their 2004 performance were shattered last Saturday when they suffered a 24-16 loss at the hands of Wales in Paris.
Laporte has shuffled his pack by promoting back-up Pascal Pape to the second row, while winger Cedric Heymans replaces the injured Aurelien Rougerie and Ludovic Valbon has been preferred to Jean-Philippe Grandclaude.
"The Ireland clash is going to be intense in terms of pace and physical strength," said Laporte.
"They will line up with the players we beat in the 2003 World Cup, which demonstrates their consistency and experience.
"That's why we decided to boost our second row. We might decide to replace to second row players during the match or put Gregory Lamboley in the back row."
Laporte does not believe the defeat to Wales will dent his side's confidence of winning the tournament.
He said: "We know that the victory in this year's tournament will not only depend on us but the match we displayed against Wales proved we had progressed.
"We are going to keep training that way and to keeping the ball better and strike at the heart of our rivals' defences."
Pape, who has shaken off an ankle injury, returns instead of the sidelined Imanol Harinordoquy.
"Imanol performed exceptionally well against Wales but not taking him on board this time is not a punishment," explained the coach.
Laporte will announce his starting line-up to face the Irish on March 8 at the team's official headquarters at Marcoussis, near Paris.