Scotland Rugby were in a tangle yesterday over comments about 'hating the English' ahead of Sunday's Six Nations clash.

Their New Zealand-born prop Simon Berghan claimed the rivalry is engrained in national history — before returning to soften his remarks on cross-border relations, The Daily Mail reports.

Tensions will increase ahead of Sunday's Test at Murrayfield, with Scotland looking to repeat their 2000 de-railing of England's Grand Slam bid.

"I knew all about the rivalry with England," said Berghan.

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"I sort of knew everyone hates England, basically because we did, but when I came over here it was made more obvious to me, and the reasons why, the history and that.

"It will be brilliant to get one over on them next week. I certainly am aware of the rivalry there."

Berghan, who later returned to the press conference to play down his 'hate' remarks, came through the Canterbury academy in New Zealand before making his Scotland debut in last year's Six Nations, having qualified through his grandfather.

Scotland were thumped 61-21 by England at Twickenham last year and Berghan insists they are in a position to make amends for their humiliation.

"We are in a better place this year, personally and as a squad," said Berghan. "We take it game by game and we did that with the French game, where we had points to prove, an wrongs to put right, and went out and did that.

"We have the same approach for England, where again we have wrongs to put right from last year, and we have the squad to do that. I expect the boys to play very well."