Scotland have been given an indication of the personnel they are likely to face in their forthcoming Six Nations opener after opponents France unveiled the 23 players who will be excused club duty this weekend.

Head coach Philippe Saint-Andre this week stepped up preparations for the February 7 clash with Scotland when he gathered a 31-man squad for a training camp in Canet-en-Roussillon. Saint-Andre has now whittled down that pool to 23 players, who, under the rules of the French Rugby Federation, will be 'protected' from having to play for their clubs in the Top 14 this weekend. Scotland have still been left guessing to a certain extent, however, after Saint-Andre named a lop-sided selection of 14 forwards and just nine backs. Saint-Andre said: "With this list, we wanted to protect 22 players, and Rabah Slimani is suspended for the Top 14 this weekend. "There are 14 forwards and nine backs because a lot of the players in the backs needed game time and were therefore left available to clubs." Unsurprisingly, the list of players who will not play this weekend includes the likes of Wesley Fofana, Yoann Huget, Scott Spedding, Nicolas Mas, Pascal Pape, Camille Lopez and skipper Thierry Dusautoir.