A RUGBY club wants better defences to stop travellers from settling on its training field.

The pitch at Recreation Road in Wath has been inhabited by two separate groups of travellers over the last few weeks and the travellers' presence has stopped youngsters from being able to train.

Travellers claim that they accessed the site via a gate, which is usually locked, but they claim was open.

A group were removed just last week via an eviction notice but now a larger group and their horses are on the site.

"They're coming every year now and it's useless us getting worked up about it because there's nothing we can do," said Steve Corns, the rugby club's chairman. 

"This week it is a different family. I think last week's were a scouting party. All we can really do is appeal to the local councillors to try and get the field better protected."

The council-owned land is rented by the club for their under-16 and under-13 sides to train on but they're now having to use another pitch. Steve claims overuse of this pitch will result in it bein worn away.

The presence of the travellers could have repercussions throughout their next campaign, which starts next month.

"It's disruptive to us and our entire season," said Steve. "As soon as they've gone it needs to be cleaned up because usually there's a lot of litter and then we will have to use it.

"It's been happening for the last ten years now. It seems as though they're lawless."

Cllr Alan Atkin said the travellers were handed a notice to leave on Wednesday. He says they will look at better defences so access is not as easy.