France coach Bernard Laporte is convinced his side can win the 2007 World Cup after their successful summer tour in Romania and South Africa.
Les Bleus thrashed Romania 64-12 in Bucharest on June 17 before ending the Springboks’ 13-match unbeaten run by beating them 36-26 in Cape Town on Saturday.
It was France’s 10th victory in 11 matches since November 2005 after they completed an impressive series of Test matches in August 2005 and won this year’s Six Nations.
"I truly believe that we can win the World Cup next year," said Laporte.
"But there are so many candidates. We are one of them and not the least among them. We have shown that we can compete.
"We now must concentrate on the three November Test matches against the All Blacks and Argentina.
"They will be interesting tests. We must keep working hard for those matches as well as for the World Cup."
Laporte also praised his team’s attitude against South Africa as his players dominated the game and scored four tries.
"I really liked the team’s spirit," he added. "The Springboks were faithful to their usual selves but we were better than during our November Test matches at the Stade de France, mainly thanks to our pack.
"I told my players that the Springboks’ level was not lower than usual on Saturday but that they had managed to make them play less well than usual.
"We performed brilliantly against them, knowing that they play 25 games a year together and that they prepare very well.
"If we prepare well too, we should be able to live up to expectations at the World Cup."
The only downside of Saturday’s performance was a knee ligament injury to flanker Thierry Dusautoir.
The talented player, who recently joined Toulouse, was replaced by Remy Martin after less than 15 minutes of play.
He is expected to undergo further medical tests to assess the extent of the damage.