France coach Bernard Laporte has called on his side to realise their true potential against Wales at the Millennium Stadium on Sunday.
Overcoming Wales is crucial for France to keep their Grand Slam hopes alive ahead of their potential title decider with England.
Laporte announced his starting line-up for the Cardiff game on Wednesday, with the main change seeing number eight Thomas Lievremont coming in for experienced flanker Olivier Magne.
Fly-half Frederic Michalak also makes his return to the side after missing out on the Italy clash last month with a neck and shoulder injury. He replaces youngster Julien Peyrelongue.
Having defeated Ireland and Italy in their first two RBS 6 Nations matches at the Stade de France, Laporte is expecting a tough encounter for their first away trip against a Welsh side looking to make amends for their 36-15 defeat by Ireland 10 days ago.
"Wales are a young team who displayed fantastic performances at the World Cup against New Zealand and England, whom they were not far from beating," Laporte said at Wednesday's press conference in Marcoussis.
"In this tournament they also performed extremely well against Scotland before falling to the Irish.
"Their team is definitely improving and they are well organised."
Laporte is adamant a win over Wales would boost their confidence ahead of their fourth match against Scotland and the anticipated winner-takes-all clash with England on March 27 at the Stade de France.
"This match against Wales is going to be a good test in terms of performance and motivation," Laporte said.
"This is a good opportunity to show that we are a great team.
"We will travel to Cardiff with the aim of winning and keep our Grand Slam hopes alive."
Laporte recalled the difficulty his side had in beating Wales in the 2002 competition where Les Bleus were pushed to the limit before finally winning the match 37-33.
France would go on to win the Grand Slam that year and Laporte will be hoping for a similar situation this year.
"Two years ago we were leading by 20 points and suddenly our defence got weaker and we conceded two tries, and then almost a third," Laporte said.
"We were not far from losing that day. The Welsh tend to put a lot of intensity in their game.
"We will have to create ourselves as many opportunities as against Italy and convert them all this time."
Laporte and team manager Jo Maso have made just the two changes to the starting line-up with Lievremont's inclusion coming after last week's claim by French rugby boss Jean-Claude Skrela that the team lacked physical power.
"Thomas (Lievremont) should bring us the strength at that position," Laporte explained.
"He has proven extremely motivated and committed in the past months.
"He deserves to start while 'Charlie' (Magne's nickname), who will play during the match, knows he has not been that good with his club recently."
Doubts remain over Damien Traille who suffered a right leg injury in the last minutes of Pau's 32-21 win over Colomiers on Saturday.
However, Laporte is optimistic his centre will be back to training on Thursday and will be fit and ready for Sunday's clash.
If not, Tony Marsh or Clement Poitrenaud could be called up although both men are bothered with Achilles and ankle problems respectively.