French Rugby Federation (FFR) president Bernard Lapasset has refused to blame Les Bleus for Saturday's defeat to Wales, claiming the team needs time to become competitive again.
France, who are the defending RBS 6 Nations champions, won their first two matches against Scotland and England but saw their Grand Slam hopes shattered at the wekeend as they tumbled to a 24-18 loss.
Ironically, Les Bleus' first two games were poor in terms of play and organisation, while Bernard Laporte's men arguably produced their best performance of the tournament so far in Saturday's home defeat.
Lapasset believes the display has given some hope to the future of the national team.
"The most important thing is that we are confident in our game and in our potential," he said.
"I think we proved that this was the case considering the quality first half we displayed at the Stade de France on Saturday.
"I don't want to express a severe judgement on their performance because their intentions were clear, they wanted to produce game and please the public who supported us really well.
"When a team is defeated but leaves the stadium to applause, it means something has happened."
Lapasset insists the team is in a rebuilding process after the disappointing November Test matches which saw France suffer two losses to Argentina and New Zealand.
"The current side are in a renewal process and are trying to find the right balance between attack and defence," he added.
"Against Wales, the need was to reassure ourselves and we did in a way although the first six minutes of the second half (when Wales scored two tries and took the lead) we relaxed our efforts and paid for it.
"Maybe the current French side is not mature enough to hold on for 80 minutes."
Laporte, meanwhile, is set to announce his squad ahead of the Ireland clash on March 12 on Wednesday.
He insisted on Sunday that there could be more changes to come.
"We are going to take into account all the matches played in the tournament so far to choose the most competitive squad possible," he said.
"Some players could come back to boost the competition such as Pieter De Villiers, Pascal Pape, Thomas Lievremont, Ludovic Valbon or Nicolas Brusque.
"If we win against Ireland everything will remain possible."
Peter O'Mahony was named man of the match against England last month
21 April 2017, 7:22pm
Peter O'Mahony's performance in the RBS 6 Nations finale for Ireland against England was crucial to his selection for the British & Irish Lions on Wednesday, Ireland and Lions defence coach Andy Farrell has revealed.