Former Scotland captain Peter Brown, elder brother of fellow international Gordon, has tried to defuse what he believes is needless hatred in the build-up to the Calcutta Cup with England at Murrayfield tomorrow insisting “hate is for terrorists”.
Scottish and English players have raised the temperature of what is always a spikey contest by talking about the hatred that both teams feel for each other which has disappointed Brown who wrote the Times in Scotland to express his concern.
Two years ago England head coach Eddie Jones was verbally abused by Scotland fans in Manchester the day after his team had lost at Murrayfield and Brown, who led Scotland 10 times in his 27 caps, wrote: “As a former captain of the Scotland rugby team I am more than a little disappointed with the talk of hatred that has arisen around the Calcutta Cup.
“I had the privilege to be involved in four consecutive victories over England between 1970 and 1972. I enjoyed them all but I also made lifelong friends with some of my opponents.”
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“Respect your opponent when you win, but show no elation and congratulate him when you lose. Afterwards, eat, drink and sing together. And 40 years later you will meet each other with hugs and genuine glee. Hate is for terrorists. Not rugby players.”
Jones used provocative language before England’s loss to France and started this week by highlighting the antics of some Scottish players before kick off two years ago which saw outside half George Ford singled out for verbal abuse with Owen Farrell reacting as the players moved down the tunnel after their warm up.
Lewis Ludlam, the England flanker, fanned the flames by stating this week: “”We are emotionally there. They hate us and we hate them. There is no difference. We’re revved up. We want to be brutal. We don’t want to give them an inch to breathe. We’re coming for them.”
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