Ireland coach Eddie O'Sullivan believes his Grand Slam-chasing team will face an element of the unknown when they tackle France in Dublin.
Les Bleus must win at Lansdowne Road to have any chance of retaining the RBS 6 Nations title following their 24-18 home defeat against Ireland's main championship rivals Wales.
And O'Sullivan is at a loss to know how the French will respond as this season's tournament races headlong towards a thrilling climax.
"France were shell-shocked at the end of their game against Wales," he said, after masterminding Ireland's 19-13 victory over England which sent the world champions spinning to a third successive RBS 6 Nations defeat and into wooden spoon contention.
"They (France) would have thought at half-time they were going to win that game by 20 points, but you have to give credit to Wales because I don't know many teams who would have sustained that sort of pressure and survived.
"It was a phenomenal defensive performance, and when Wales got the breaks they shell-shocked France by taking two tries.
"I am not sure what that will do for France," he added. "Will France come to Dublin with a
different team? Will they come to Dublin more galvanised by losing that game? One thing we do know is that we have to be ready to play them.
"They showed phenomenal skill and power against Wales. They have incredible pace in the backs, who are very big strong men. It is another day's work that has to be done, but
we are looking forward to it."
James Haskell admits that his six-month lay-off with a toe injury has been the most frustrating period of his career and says he is still dealing with regular pain on his quest to return to full fitness.