Former France star Serge Blanco, one of the greatest full-backs ever to play the game, is convinced Les Bleus can win the 2007 World Cup on home soil after their performances in this year's RBS 6 Nations tournament.
Bernard Laporte's men finished second behind Wales, who won the Grand Slam for the first time in 27 years by beating Ireland last Saturday.
France, the defending champions, started the campaign with narrow wins over Scotland and England.
However, after losing to Wales in Paris, they finished on a high with two impressive victories over Ireland and Italy.
Even with the trophy in Welsh hands, Blanco - who won 90 caps in a superb career for the national team - believes the future is looking bright for France, with the arrivals of young players like Julien Laharrague, Nicolas Mas, Gregory Lamboley and Benoit Baby.
"If France become world champions in 2007, which I start to seriously believe will happen, it will be thanks to their great improvement during this year's tournament," Blanco told France newspaper Le Parisien on Monday.
"We needed a bad performance against Scotland and another average display against England to change our game.
"Of course, injuries caused the selection of younger guys such as Mas, (Julien) Bonnaire, (Yannick) Nyanga, Laharrague, (Cedric) Heymans, Baby and (David) Marty, who brought a lot of energy to the team.
"This is a victory for the whole of French rugby. Our system is the best. All Top 16 clubs (in the domestic league) have their own training centres which means there are no worries for the future."
Blanco also praised the fighting spirit of Les Bleus.
"Their collective strength is exceptional - I saw in Rome how solid their unity was,'' he added.
"There is definitely a new spirit with the French national team who understood they had to display a more ambitious game.
"It reminds me of when I was playing myself. We have the right players to conquer and attack."
Blanco also defended coach Laporte who was much criticised after the first two matches of the tournament.
"Bernard Laporte has had the intelligence to comply with this new desire to attack," he said.
"This evolution makes me think that we can definitely win the world title in 2007."
France have twice been runners-up in the World Cup.
They reached the final in 1987, under skipper Blanco, but lost to New Zealand. In 1999, Les Bleus were beaten by Australia at the Millennium Stadium.
After Ireland's heroic big-game hunt of the Springboks and Scotland's six-try runaround of the Pumas, the challenge of engineering the most spectacular win of the autumn series now falls on Wales, writes Peter Jackson.