Wing Yoann Huget says France will be desperate to begin their autumn campaign on a positive note when they host the Springboks in Paris.
France come into the match on the back of a demoralising but controversial 3-0 series loss to the All Blacks in New Zealand, which was marred by several calls from the referees.
Les Tricolores are now looking to build towards the 2019 World Cup and face the Boks on Saturday before taking on Argentina, who will be in their World Cup group, and Fiji.
Huget, who came into the squad as an injury replacement for Wesley Fofana, appeared confident, suggesting the three Tests give them the chance to rewrite the end-of-year reviews.
‘To start off again with a win would be huge for the squad, the staff, for everyone. It would create real enthusiasm. We need to validate the work we have put in over the past year by beating a major nation.
‘We have to win in order to kick off our [autumn Test] campaign and to launch our World Cup. We want to arrive [in Japan] with confidence.
‘The South Africans or the English don’t have a Teddy [Thomas], a Basta [Matthieu Bastareaud] or a Max [Maxime Medard] capable of making the difference in a game. We need to take confidence in our strengths, if we do that then I am sure the results will tip in our favour.’
Huget’s France teammate, flank Artur Iturria, was in an equally confident mood ahead of Saturday’s Test.
‘We have to win,’ Iturria said. ‘We have very good players and a good system. If we bring all the ingredients together at the same time I don’t see why we cannot rival the best teams in the world. I hope that will be the case on Saturday evening.’
France have lost their last six Tests against South Africa, their last victory coming in Toulouse in 2009.