France rediscovered some confidence with victory over Scotland but second row Félix Lambey admits they still have a long way to go ahead of a Guinness Six Nations trip to Ireland.
The Lyon lock was promoted to the starting side for the trip to England in Round Two, and produced arguably his best display in a French jersey against the Scots in a 27-10 victory.
He appears to have nailed down the starting role alongside Sébastien Vahaamahina in the French second row.
And after a slow start to the Championship, Lambey revealed there was a certain amount of relief after getting the campaign up and running against the Scots.
He told Rugbyrama: “The win did us a lot of good. We were under a lot of pressure. We were in a difficult place after England so to react as we did, that was a really good thing.
“Personally, I’m pleased because I’m playing. I’ve been waiting for this for a while. I’ve been given my chance and I’m taking advantage of it. I’m giving everything so that it can continue, hopefully it will.
“We’ve not had many victories so when you do get one, you try to use it and to build on it to gain confidence, because that is what we have been lacking in the French team, that confidence. We will use it but we aren’t going to kid ourselves. There are still lots of things that we need to do to be able compete with the best.”
At an individual level Lambey has stood out with his mobility around the park, not to mention a brilliant offload that almost led to the first French try against Scotland.
But the 24-year-old is conscious of where he needs to improve with France set to travel to Ireland where he could go head-to-head with James Ryan in the second row.
He added: “I’m pleased and I think I’ve given it my all. I’m knackered after the games. But I’m also aware of what I still need to do to compete with the best. Against England I felt I was a little way off the highest level.
“I felt it in my movement around the pitch. I ran a lot but considering the amount of ground I covered, I wasn’t always in the right place. That is something I want to work on.
“I feel good physically, I know I can run a lot, but it’s not enough to run for the sake of running. You have to be in the right place at the right time, especially at international level.”