I have watched the French players during training this week and they look extremely fresh and dynamic. They are well prepared and determined to clear the first hurdle of the tournament against Ireland on Saturday.
And for once in a long time, France don't have too many injury problems which has probably boosted their confidence and concentration. They are ready psychologically to face the challenge and win their first match of the tournament.
Ireland, on the other hand, will be looking for revenge after they lost their World Cup quarter-final to France last November.
Brian O'Driscoll being out means they will be without their charismatic leader and it might serve France's interests in the end even though, despite being weaknened, the Irish have always proved tough fighters.
But I am not worried about the French, I think they are ready to produce a great performance and win the match. It is important as they are starting a new adventure that will take them to the 2007 World Cup in France.
In that sense, a loss would be a little catastrophe for them and for the tournament as it would certainly deprive the public from a mouth-watering final against defending champions England on March 27.
The match on Saturday will also see the debut of scrum-half Jean-Baptiste Elissalde, who will have a tough task to replace the retired Fabien Galthie.
But Elissalde will be paired with his Toulouse team-mate Frederic Michalak. They are used to playing together and that is a bonus for Elissalde. They feel the game, and they have a good understanding on the field. This is extremely positive.
All in all, I would rate France as favourites for the clash, although you never know with the Irish.