Guilhem Guirado says France must prove their true ability at the Six Nations after a disappointing 2015 Rugby World Cup campaign.
France advanced from their pool in England despite losing their final first-stage fixture 24-9 to Ireland and were dismantled by eventual winners New Zealand 62-13 in the quarter-finals.
Philippe Saint-Andre subsequently resigned and Guy Noves has since been appointed head coach in his place.
Guirado, handed the captaincy by Noves following the international retirement of Thierry Dusautoir, believes France's poor showing leaves them with a point to prove at the upcoming Six Nations.
"It is clear that the task is not easy. For me who was part of the team [at the Rugby World Cup], it was very difficult to experience," the 29-year-old told Rugbyrama.
"All the players who participated were affected and heartbroken by our display. In the last two matches against Ireland and the All Blacks, we really showed a bad image of ourselves.
"We will not rely on this to improve as many players are gone and the young ones will not understand - it would serve no purpose.
"But Guy has made everyone aware of the obligations of our presence in the France team. We have to show what the France team truly is."