France captain Fabien Pelous has backed Dimitri Yachvili to emerge as one of France's key on-field leaders.
France have been criticised for their lack of direction in their opening three RBS 6 Nations games, but Pelous believes the Biarritz scrum-half has stood out.
"The French team needs other leaders than me, some players capable of taking control of things on a pitch which will make things easier for me," Pelous told L'Equipe.
"I think that Dimitri has understood that and realises how important his role can be.
"I know this is hard and that we need time but he is gradually gaining experience with us. He is definitely changing and imposing himself."
France's hopes of winning a second consecutive Grand Slam were shattered last weekend when they suffered a 24-16 loss at the hands of the Welsh in the Stade de France.
But after defeats to Argentina and New Zealand in November last year and two unconvincing wins over Scotland and England in February, Les Bleus showed signs that their rugby was back on track against the Welsh.
"This defeat was both frustrating and encouraging, but certainly not worrying," added Pelous.
"It's never forbidden to lose, especially after such a big match and when you really feel you were not so far away from a win in terms of game and motivation.
"We have weaknesses, and we are sometimes disorganised on the pitch but we never gave up in our last three matches.''
Italy Under-20s held off a late Samoa blitz to retain their place in the World Rugby U20 Championship on Saturday and head coach Alessandro Troncon believes the experience will have served as a valuable lesson for his young troops.