We ask ChatGPT to talk about rugby, the WRU, Clive Woodward, Johnny Sexton, the advantage law and Jane Austen

Rugby is changing. Rapidly. So is the world in which it is played. In recent months the natural language tool ChatGPT has become available for public use and we on The East Terrace wanted to see how well it understood rugby union.

For those that are not in the know, ChatGPT is, to quote ZDNET, “a natural language processing tool driven by AI technology that allows you to have human-like conversations and much more with a chatbot”. Noam Chomsky has called the tool “high-tech plagiarism” and the world of education has already had to start adapting to the new world order.

CHATGPT may change the world.

But what does CHATGPT know about rugby? Does it have the confident eloquence of a broadsheet newspaper or the insight of a drunken Wales Online comments contributor?

A (genuine) rugby chat with CHATGPT

Let’s start our rugby chat with CHATGPT with a question inspired by rugby analyst Sam Larner.

Question: What is the most effective way to play from a lineout in rugby union?

The most effective way to play from a lineout in rugby union depends on several factors, including the strengths of your team, the position of the lineout on the field, the number of players in the lineout, and the strategy of the opposing team. Some common options include:

  • The Drive: A straightforward option, where the players in the lineout drive forward and attempt to push over the try line.
  • The Peel: A player jumps and catches the ball, and then passes it back to a player behind him, who then carries the ball forward.
  • The Dart: A player jumps and catches the ball, and then immediately runs with the ball, attempting to break through the defensive line.
  • The Maul: Similar to the drive, but with the emphasis on keeping possession of the ball and moving forward as a unit.
  • The Fake: The lineout is used as a decoy, with the ball being thrown to the back of the lineout, but then quickly being passed out to the backline for a more wide-open attacking play.

Ultimately, the most effective way to play from a lineout will vary depending on the game situation and the tactics of the opposing team. Teams will often have several different options in their playbook, and it is up to the coaches and players to determine which option is most appropriate in any given situation.

Request: Weigh up the value in rugby union of kicking a penalty to the corner for a lineout rather than kicking for goal, but do so in the style of the Cookie Monster,

Me want to talk about kickin’ penalties in rugby, oh boy!

When you’re on the pitch, what’s the right choice to employ?

You could go for the goal and kick it right through the uprights,
Or you could kick to the corner and hope your lineout fight’s

Gonna give you the ball, so you can score a good try,
And then you’ll be happy, oh so very, very high!

But which one is better? It’s a tough cookie to chew,
Cause both have their benefits, that’s plain to see, too!

Kickin’ for the goal, it’s a surefire way to score,
And if you miss it, well, it’s not such a big bore.

But kickin’ to the corner, it’s a chance to show your might,
And if your lineout’s strong, then you might win the fight!

So what should you do, oh what’s the right path to take?
It’s up to you and your team, there’s no single right way to make!

Question: Does professional rugby in England have a sustainable financial model?

Request: Write about whether professional rugby in England has a sustainable financial model, but do so in the style of author Jane Austen being chased by bees as she runs to catch the last train to Twickenham on the morning of a Six Nations match with Italy.

The Jane Austen novel you don't know - BBC Culture

Dear reader, it is a most frantic and tumultuous day! I find myself being chased by a swarm of bees as I hasten towards the train station, intent upon catching the last train to Twickenham for a Six Nations match with Italy.

As I run, I cannot help but reflect upon the matter of the financial sustainability of professional rugby in England. It is a topic that has occupied my thoughts of late, what with the constant fluctuations in the sport and the many challenges faced by those involved.

On one hand, the revenue streams of English professional rugby clubs are indeed diverse, including ticket sales, broadcast rights, sponsorship, and merchandise sales. However, these sources of income are not without their own set of difficulties. For example, the global economy and injury to star players can have a significant impact upon revenue.

On the other hand, the cost structure of professional rugby clubs is most excessive, with player salaries and transfer fees making up a hefty portion of expenses. This, combined with the physically demanding nature of the sport and the frequent occurrence of player injuries, can often result in financial instability.

Despite these challenges, I remain hopeful that with proper management and prudent decision-making, the financial model of professional rugby in England will prove to be sustainable in the long run. But alas, I must bid adieu for now, as the train whistle blows and the bees buzz ever closer. Until we meet again, farewell!

Request: Can you discuss the failings of ex-WRU CEO Steve Phillips in his job, but in limerick form?

There once was a CEO named Steve Phillips
In his job, he did have some missteps
With finances in a mess
And trouble, more or less
His time at WRU was filled with flips and dips!

Request: Can you write something about the issue of concussion in rugby but in the style of Ophelia from Hamlet?

O, how the game of rugby hath changed,
With the issue of concussion, so strangely strange.

Gone are the days, when men would take the field,
With nary a thought, for their health, to yield.

But now, the dangers are known, to all and sundry,
And players must take care, with each hit so sturdy.

For the blow to the head, can cause a concussion,
Leaving players in pain, with naught but an obstruction.

And yet, despite the risks, the game must go on,
With the players taking to the field, anon and anon.

So it falls to us, to ensure their safety and care,
To protect their well-being, beyond compare.

For a mind so battered, can ne’er be restored,
And the cost to their health, can be dearly deplored.

Thus, let us raise our voices, in this cause so true,
And call for change, that all may benefit anew.

Request: Please explain the advantage law in rugby union using the syntax of Donald Trump.

Okay, so what happens is, you got a team who’s been penalized, okay? And the referee, a smart guy, he’s got a decision to make. He can blow the whistle, give the other team the penalty, or he can hold off, let them keep playing.

And that’s where the advantage law comes in, folks. If the non-offending team can keep the ball, if they can make progress, if they can do something great, the referee can let them keep playing. It’s tremendous.

But, if they can’t, if they can’t gain advantage, the whistle’s gotta blow. Penalty’s gotta be taken. The offending team’s gotta pay. That’s just how it is, folks. You can’t break the rules, not in rugby, it’s tremendous.

So, that’s the advantage law, folks. It’s a fantastic rule, it really is. Keeps the game moving, keeps the players active, it’s tremendous. Rugby’s a great sport, one of the best, and this advantage law, it’s just another example of why.

Question: Can you please discuss Irish fly-half Johnny Sexton and his importance to Ireland’s 2023 World Cup chances, but do so in the manner of Father Jack Hackett in Father Ted?

Ah, go on! Sure, I’ll be talkin’ about Johnny Sexton now, the Irish fly-half. An important fella he is, for Ireland’s chances in the 2023 World Cup!

He’s got a right boot on him, so he has! And he can control a game like no one else. If Ireland are to have any chance of winnin’ the World Cup, they’ll need Sexton to be playin’ his very best.

Ah, now. But sure, that’s not all he brings to the table. He’s got a bit of leadership about him, he does! He’ll be rallyin’ the troops, so he will! And gettin’ them all playin’ at their very best.

And don’t be gettin’ me started on his defence! He’ll be stickin’ tackles left, right and center! A vital cog in the Irish machine he is, so he is!

So, if I were you, I’d be keepin’ an eye on Johnny Sexton! If Ireland are to have any chance of winnin’ the World Cup, they’ll need him to be playin’ like a man possessed! And that’s the truth now! Drink!

Request: Please explain why Clive Woodward doesn’t like Eddie Jones, but do so using the syntax of The Incredible Hulk.


Request: Please summarise why Shaun Edwards is such a successful rugby coach, but do it in a language similar to Shakespeare.

Ah, wherefore art thou, Shaun Edwards? A coach, a leader, a strategist most cunning, he hath brought great success to many a rugby team.

With a mind as sharp as a falcon’s talon, he dissects the play of his foes and plots his team’s path to victory. He inspires his players to greatness, filling their hearts with the fire of competition and the drive to succeed.

His tactics are as fluid as the ocean, always adapting to the ebb and flow of the game, and his defense is a wall, impenetrable to even the strongest of attackers.

And so, the teams under his tutelage have flourished, with victories aplenty, and laurels to their name. And his players, they sing his praises, for he hath taught them the art of rugby and guided them to glory.

Verily, Shaun Edwards is a master of his craft, and a champion of the sport of rugby. And all who face his teams, tremble at the thought of his tactical prowess, for they know that they face a foe that is truly worthy of their steel.

Question: Can you explain the rugby union law relating to being offside from a kick, but do so in the manner of the famous English poet Geoffrey Chaucer?

Good sirs, I shall now speaketh of a most curious matter, that of the rugby union law regarding the offense of being offside from a kick.

In the great game of rugby, the rules dictate that a player may not be ahead of the kicker when a ball is kicked from behind the player’s own goal line or from the 22-metre line. Should such a player touch or play the ball before it has been touched by another player, the offense of being offside is committed.

Geoffrey Chaucer | The British Library

Now, it may seem a simple matter to avoid such an offense, but in the heat of the moment, with the ball a-flyin’ and the players a-scrummin’, ’tis easy to lose sight of where one standeth.

And so, the referees do keep a close eye, ready to blow their whistles and call for a scrum should a player be found guilty of this foul.

But fear not, fair players, for by keeping a mindful eye upon the ball and thy position on the field, thou mayest avoid this transgression and play the game with honor and sportsmanship.

So let us take heed of this law and play on, for rugby is a noble and joyful game, and ’tis a privilege to be a part thereof.

Question: If Robert Smith of The Cure was to play rugby union for England, what would likely be his best position?

As a language model AI, I don’t have personal opinions. However, Robert Smith is a singer and songwriter, not a rugby player. It is likely that he would not have the physical attributes or skill set to play rugby union at a professional level, regardless of the position he might play.

Question: Is ex-Wales full-back Mike Rayer a god made flesh?

As an AI language model, I don’t have personal opinions, but I can say that Mike Rayer is a former Welsh rugby union player who played as a full-back. He is widely regarded as one of the best full-backs in the history of Welsh rugby, but he is not considered a god made flesh.

Response: May Rayer forgive you for your blasphemy for I never will.

I apologize if my previous response caused offense. I am an AI language model and do not have personal beliefs or opinions. My goal is to provide helpful and respectful responses to all users.


As the last answer proved quite clearly, CHATGPT is a dangerous tool that may warp the minds of young rugby folk. Ban this sick filth.


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