Next year's Rugby World Cup hosts France finish their Autumn Nations Series campaign on Sunday by facing Japan in Toulouse with head coach Fabien Galthie's mind already turned towards the tournament.
Les Bleus have beaten Australia and South Africa so far this November as they continue their record of 12 straight Test victories, a landmark that had been set in the 1930s.
"We play a third match in a series of quarter-final, semi-final and final," Galthie told reporters this week.
"We're testing out what we're hoping to achieve in less than a year’s time.
"Beating two southern hemisphere sides on the trot leaves its marks, and that's what's happened to us.
"Our ambition is clear. Practising a run of games like that is what we have in mind," he added.
Galthie has been forced into three changes with captain and World Player of the year Antoine Dupont banned while Cyril Baille and Thibaud Flament are injured.
Last weekend's win over the Springboks meant Galthie and team manager Raphael Ibanez had led Les Bleus to victory over each side in the top 10 of the world rankings since they took over three years ago.
"Our mission is to win games and remain in the world's top three. We're second now," Ibanez said.
"One day, we have to have the ambition to be number one.
"It doesn't guarantee that we will get to experience the ultimate success in 10 months but it gives us guarantees in our process.
"What's essential is that we can position ourselves and that we're up with the major rugby nations," the former France hooker added.
Between Galthie's side and a "final" win are the hosts of the 2019 World Cup, who have lost to England and New Zealand, narrowly, over the past three weeks.
France claimed a series win over the Brave Blossoms, 10th in the world, in July with a second-string outfit due to a clash with the Top 14 semi-finals.
"Slipping up is always a possibility, I don't think we’ll slip up but beware. Up against us are opponents we've played twice, who can cause problems to any tier one team," Galthie said.
"Recently they played poorly against England but the match against the All Blacks was very tight.
"We'll play an opponent who we consider a major opponent," he added.
- 'Rugby town' -
Jamie Joseph's visitors have spent the week in Toulouse, where they will prepare for the World Cup and play Chile as well as Samoa in next September's group stages.
The town's club has won a record 21 French titles as well as five European Cups.
"It's probably one of the best rugby facilities I've ever visited," Joseph said.
"Toulouse is a rugby town, with great rugby people. We're fortunate to be stationed here," he added.
The Brave Blossoms have made five alterations from last weekend's loss to England with ex-Clermont winger Kotaro Matsushima named on the bench
"It's a great opportunity for us as a team to be able to travel abroad especially with the World Cup being here," Joseph said.
"France have also had two difficult and physical games. They'll be a little bit like us, they'll be sore and relieved they got through the South Africa game.
"They want to finish the year off well, and that's no different to us," he added.
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