Six Nations 2015: Scotland lose David Denton and Sean Maitland for France

Vern Cotter is handed a double injury blow ahead of tough tournament opener in Paris on 7 February

David Denton and Sean Maitland have been ruled out of Scotland’s opening Six Nations match against France.

After joining their international team-mates at Scotland’s training base near Motherwell, the duo were assessed and returned to Edinburgh Rugby and Glasgow Warriors, respectively, to begin their rehabilitation.

Denton, who had been the only specialist number eight called up before Johnnie Beattie’s addition on Sunday, has a calf tear, with Maitland out with a shoulder problem.

Scotland head coach Vern Cotter has not ruled out either returning during the tournament, but he will hope Denton’s absence will be brief with experienced options already limited in the back row as Warriors blindside flanker Rob Harley battling to regain fitness, while his club team-mate Ryan Wilson is absent due to an ongoing court case.

Cotter had already lost a number of internationals to injury before he named his squad, including Warriors stand-off Duncan Weir to an arm injury, as well as club colleagues Adam Ashe (neck), Chris Fusaro (ankle) and Tyrone Holmes (face).

Another casualty at stand-off was Wasps’ Ruaridh Jackson, out with a long-term leg injury, while Edinburgh lock and vice-captain Grant Gilchrist still has not recovered from a broken arm picked up days after being named Scotland captain for the viagogo Autumn Tests.

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