Toulon flanker Charles Ollivon will captain France in this season's Guinness Six Nations Championship.
The 26-year-old's first match in charge is against England at Stade de France on February 2.
Ollivon, whose appointment was announced by the French Rugby Federation, takes over from Guilhem Guirado, who has retired from Test rugby.
It is the first key playing appointment of new Les Blues' head coach Fabien Galthie's reign.
"I will take advantage of every second because it is a great honour," Ollivon told the FFR website.
"Fabien (Galthie) called me when I was at home. It was a special moment. I look forward to starting this new adventure."
Galthie, meanwhile, has named a 42-man squad ahead of the tournament, including 19 uncapped players.
The list of international rookies includes Lyon lock Killian Geraci, Clermont Auvergne back-row forward Alexandre Fischer, plus backs Maxime Lucu, Louis Carbonel and Arthur Vincent.
And among a number of established names to miss out are wing Yoann Huget, fly-half Camille Lopez, scrum-half Maxime Machenaud, prop Ribah Slimani and flanker Wenceslas Lauret.