Sébastien Tillous-Borde has called on France to be more like Argentina and play with more freedom in order to rebuild.
Les Bleus equalled their worst-ever performance at a World Cup as they crashed out in the quarter-finals to New Zealand, and have also gone five years without a Six Nations title, their longest wait since the 1950s.
Head coach Philippe Saint-André will be replaced by Guy Novès for the upcoming Six Nations, but scrum-half Tillous-Borde feels France should use Argentina, who went out in the semi-finals, as an example to follow.
"It's true that our game wasn't smooth. It was complicated. We weren't able to get the best out of our players," he told Rugbyrama.
"We need to change the mindset so that we dare to do more. We saw during this World Cup that the teams that play a lot are able to reach the next level, and that's pleasing.
"We were caught in two minds. Obviously we've seen that we weren't good enough to reach the semi-finals. But at club level we manage to play.
"Even if there are foreign players as well, there are lots of French players in these teams. We need to recreate it with France.
"It's a global failure but it's also the responsibility of the players. We weren't able to do what we needed. There has to be a big reassessment over the next four years.
"I hope that we are able to rebuild French rugby in the way Argentina has. For the future of French rugby, we need to win the Six Nations and World Cups in the future."
It remains to be seen whether Tillous-Borde will return to the French side, with a number of contenders at scrum-half, but three who have played their last Tests are Frédéric Michalak, Pascal Papé and Nicolas Mas.
All three retired from international rugby after the quarter-final loss to New Zealand, but Tillous-Borde believes their views should be listened to in the attempt to fix French rugby.
"It's important to listen to experienced players like Fred (Michalak), Pascal (Papé) and Nicolas (Mas)," he added.
"They will be able to talk without worrying about the rest of their career.
"It's harder for current players to talk because they want to stay in the French team and are worried for their futures, so are afraid to talk. Pascal and Fred, will be able to do so more easily.
"They have things to say and it will be beneficial for the French team in the future."