One of the greatest players Scottish rugby has ever produced has said the stadium song Flower of Scotland has become an embarrassing anti-English rant and should be ditched as the nation's sporting anthem.

Finlay Calder, captain of the British Lions in Australia in 1989 and one of the heroes of the Scotland Grand Slam side the following year, made the contentious claim in a wide-ranging interview with the Sunday Herald, claiming that it is time for Scotland to "grow up" and adopt a more mature approach to its rugby rivalry with England.

Calder, who is standing as a candidate in next month's election to become president of the Scottish Rugby Union, compared the respect shown by Ireland's rugby supporters two years ago when England first played at Croke Park - scene of an infamous massacre by British troops in 1920 during the bloody War of Independence - to the jeering the English side routinely receive at Murrayfield.

"It's embarrassing, the lack of respect," he said. "The anti-English stuff has got to stop. I think it's appalling the way we host our English competitors. Before we can go forward we've got to start to grow up a bit."

On the matter of Flower of Scotland, Calder was adamant that the song's time was up.

"I'm not happy with it," said the man who won 34 caps with Scotland before retiring in 1991. "I'd get rid of it tomorrow.

"It's time to get back to what people recognise as being Scottish - being fair and friendly."

Written by the late Roy Williamson of the Corries in 1967, Flower of Scotland grew popular in rugby circles, gaining official status as the national side's anthem in 1989. It was subsequently adopted by the Scottish Football Association as well.

Calder is not the first to court controversy by criticising the song. Two years ago, SFA president George Peat denounced it as "a dirge" and suggested that it should be replaced by something more stirring.

Ironically, perhaps the most famous rendition of the song was at Murrayfield in 1990, when Scotland beat England 13-7 to win the Grand Slam, a match in which Calder played a prominent part.