ROME - France coach Philippe Saint-Andre said it's back to the drawing board ahead of their date against Wales in Paris after Italy kicked their Six Nations hopes into touch with an impressive 23-18 win yesterday.
Les Bleus' last visit to Italy, in March 2011, ended in a 22-21 defeat at nearby Flaminio Stadium and handed the Azzurri their first ever Six Nations win over France.
Two years on, Jacques Brunel's steadily improving side put in a strong, convincing display that should send future opponents rushing to study video footage.
"The grand slam is lost, not the tournament. Now we have to turn our attention to Wales before they come to Paris next week," said Saint-Andre, who was quick to congratulate Italy's performance.
"You have to says hats off to Italy.
"They're 10th in the (world) rankings, they're improving all the time and today they simply deserved to win."
After a promising November Test series produced three wins over Australia, Argentina and Samoa, France were regarded as tournament co-favourites along with England.
But at the Olympic Stadium, and with Italy desperate to build on some strong performances of their own from November, against Australia and New Zealand, the hosts had other ideas.