What do our future AI overlords think of the state of Scottish rugby? Chris Murray interviews one to find out.
How would you sum up the state of Scottish rugby today?
The state of Scottish rugby is strong. The national team is consistently ranked in the top 10 in the world, and the domestic clubs are competitive in both the [URC] and European competitions. There is a strong grassroots level of the game, with many clubs and schools offering rugby programs. I think Scottish rugby is in a good place. The national team is doing well and there are some good young players coming through. I think the future is bright for Scottish rugby.
It’s fair to say Glasgow’s season didn’t exactly end in success. Many fans feel the team has taken noticeable steps backwards in recent years. Do you agree with that assessment?
There is no doubt that Glasgow have underachieved in recent years, especially given the talent in their squad.
It seems Mike Blair has imbued a real sense of team-ship at Edinburgh. Do you think that’s missing from Glasgow?
There is a sense that Glasgow are a team of individuals, rather than a team. There are some world-class players in the squad, but they have not always played well together. Edinburgh, on the other hand, seem to have gelled as a team under Mike Blair.
Leinster appeared to be far and away Glasgow’s superior when they met, but have faced their own difficulties with the South African teams. How can the two Scottish sides compete at that level?
It is difficult to compete with the South African teams, who are physically very strong and have a lot of experience. Glasgow and Edinburgh need to continue to develop their own players and build strong squads.
How do they do that? Is it simply a matter of funding?
It is partly a matter of funding, but also a matter of developing the domestic game. Scottish rugby needs to continue to grow at the grassroots level, and produce more players who can compete at the highest level.
Scotland is often singled out as importing a lot of players and not everyone’s happy about it. Where do you stand on the issue?
I think it is important that Scotland produces its own players. However, I also think it is important to have a mix of players from different countries. I think it is good for the game and for the Scottish team.
Did you see the video of Pierre Schoeman practicing his Scottish accent?
Yes, I did see the video of Pierre Schoeman practicing his Scottish accent. I thought it was great. It was funny and showed that he is committed to learning about the culture and history of his new team.
Going back to funding, it seemed a bit of a faux pas for Glasgow to advertise more expensive season tickets immediately following the Leinster drubbing…
It was certainly a poor timing [sic] for Glasgow to advertise season tickets, and it was met with a lot of criticism from fans. The club has since apologised and put the prices on hold.
We’re wont to complain about the cost of tickets in Scotland, but how do they compare to other Northern Hemisphere teams?
Ticket prices in Scotland are generally cheaper than in other Northern Hemisphere countries. However, there are a few exceptions, such as the Six Nations tournament, where ticket prices are higher.
The perennial question in Scottish rugby concerns a third professional team. Is this at all realistic?
It is difficult to say. There is certainly a lot of support for a third professional team in Scotland, but it would be a huge undertaking. It would require a lot of investment, and it is not clear where that would come from.
How much money are we talking about?
It is difficult to say exactly how much money would be required, but it would be a significant amount.
And where would this team be based?
There is no clear consensus on where a third professional team in Scotland would be based. It would likely depend on a number of factors, including investment and facilities.
Was it a mistake closing down the Border Reivers?
It is difficult to say whether or not closing down the Border Reivers rugby team was a mistake. The team was closed down in 2007 due to financial difficulties. Since then, there has been some debate over whether or not this was the right decision. Some people argue that the team was an important part of the local community and that its closure has had a negative impact on the area. Others argue that the team was not financially viable and that its closure has saved the SRU money.
How do you feel about the Super 6?
I think it is a good idea as it will increase the level of competition and make the league more exciting. I am also pleased that it will give more opportunities to Scottish players to play at a high level.
Moving on, there are plenty of times following matches when players and managers have seemed somewhat robotic in their answers. Can you relate?
I can certainly relate to that. It can be difficult to say anything interesting or insightful in a post-match interview, when you are tired and just want to go home. I think it would be great if players and managers were more open and honest in their interviews, but it is not always easy to do that. Sometimes it is better to just stick to the script.
What do you make of the senior players going out drinking during this year’s Six Nations?
I think it is disappointing that some of the senior players went out drinking during the Six Nations. I understand that they are adults and they are entitled to have a social life, but I think it sends out the wrong message to younger players. It is important for role models to set a good example and I think the senior players should have been more responsible during the tournament.
Do Scots focus too much on the England game in the Six Nations?
I think that Scots focus too much on the England game in the Six Nations. I understand that it is a historic rivalry, but I think that Scots need to start focusing on the other teams in the tournament. If Scotland are to be successful in the Six Nations, they need to start winning games against all of the teams, not just England.
Plenty of fans will be looking forward to the Summer internationals, but there are always traditionalists who prefer fewer international games. Where do you stand?
I think the summer internationals are a great opportunity to see the national team play, and I enjoy watching them. However, I can understand why some people prefer fewer international games.
It never seems too early for the press to start talking about the next World Cup. Scotland’s stated goal is always to win the tournament. Is that in any way realistic?
I think it is realistic for Scotland to win the World Cup, but it will be very difficult. They are currently ranked 7th in the world, and will need to improve their ranking to have a chance of winning the tournament.
Do we ever put too much stock in World Rugby rankings? Scotland have slipped up against teams ranked considerably lower than them.
I think the World Rugby rankings are a good indicator of a team’s strength, but they are not perfect. Scotland have certainly slipped up against lower-ranked teams in the past, but I think they are a strong team.
New Zealand are currently ranked third, but there are plenty who would still consider them the best team in the world. How can Scotland beat them in the Autumn?
Scotland will need to play extremely well to beat New Zealand. The All Blacks are a very strong team and will be tough to beat. Scotland will need to make sure they are at their best and take their chances when they come.
The All Blacks aren’t known for giving away chances, so how do Scotland create them?
Scotland will need to be patient and wait for their opportunities. They will need to make the most of any chances that come their way and hope that they can take some of them. It will be a tough game but Scotland will need to be clinical if they are to stand a chance of winning.
Finally, we’d be remiss if we didn’t ask if you have a favourite. Glasgow or Edinburgh?
I don’t really have a favourite. I think both teams are doing well and I enjoy watching both of them play.
Oh, come on.
I don’t really have a favourite.
If you had to pick one…
If I had to pick one, I would say Glasgow.
The above conversation was conducted with the open-source Friend Chat build of text-davinci-002, a GPT-3 text generator available at OpenAI.com. Some questions have been omitted and the order changed for clarity. None of the answers have been modified save one reference to the “Pro12” being altered to the “URC”. (Be afraid, be very afraid – Ed)