Cowan was concussed in their defeat to Wales while Maitland will miss his second match in a row – he missed the defeat to Wales too – because of a thigh injury. There are other injury problems too for Cotter with Alex Allan, Chris Fusaro and Pat MacArthur also missing out from the squad.
Not everything is bleak for Scotland, though, as Tim Visser and Peter Horne are back to full training and are available for selection. The five new players called up to the squad are the Glasgow trio of Grayson Hart, Rob Harley and Ryan Wilson in addition to the Edinburgh pair of George Turner and Hamish Watson.
Currently tugged to the bottom of the table, Scotland will hope that Rome will bring in more happy memories for them along with much needed points. Can Scotland start their move up?
For France, though, it is a matter of sustaining the early momentum. Guy Noves has seen his Les Bleus start positively with two consecutive wins but is facing crisis on the wing with both Teddy Thomas and Marvin O’Connor pulling out with injuries.
This adds to the misery of Noves who is already without Yoann Huget, Benjamin Fall and Remy Grosso along with Wesley Fofana who could have been an answer to his problems on the wing.
Djibril Camara has been called up to answer the problems but it remains to be seen if he can upstage his Stade Francais teammate Hugo Bonneval for a starting place. The replacement for O’Connor will be named later.
Noves will hope that his side can keep up the momentum and the injuries do not derail his quest for top honors. They haven’t beaten Wales for a good part of four years but it was the same against Ireland before their last game. Les Bleus would like to believe that if they can tame Ireland, they can tame Wales too! Can France continue their dream run?