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Neath RFC

Bad news for supporters of Wales’ oldest senior rugby club Neath RFC – The Gnoll has been invaded … and not by rugby supporters.

During its long and proud history, Neath RFC at its Gnoll home has borne witness to many famous deeds. But most were of the rugby variety.

And, indeed, it has been “invaded” before – one of Welsh rugby’s most historic venues was packed to the rafters when the Welsh All Blacks played host to Southern Hemisphere giants from New Zealand, South Africa and Australia and even for crack domestic games against the likes of Aberavon, Cardiff, Llanelli, Newport and Swansea.

But now The Gnoll has been invaded again – and this time by a new generation of Pokemon Go hunters !

The GPS reality game has taken the world by storm – and now its appeal has spread to Welsh rugby.

Last weekend, staff at The Gnoll Clubhouse were shocked to be inundated by requests from children clamouring to be allowed out onto the hallowed Gnoll turf to try their hand at catching little virtual monsters like Pikachu and Jigglypuff.

Keith Hatherall, Neath’s commercial director who heads up the bar and catering operations at The Gnoll, said, “We could hardly believe it. Suddenly, all these children descended on the club clutching their smartphones.

“The pitch has just been re-seeded in readiness for the coming season which starts at Neath on Saturday, August 13th when we host the Cwmtawe Sevens. The children were not big enough to cause damage so we let them into the ground.

“Their parents even had a pint while they waited so there were winners all round.”

In the past, Neath have often been held to have had “monster packs” of forwards who scared many an opponent … but fighting Pokemons are another thing !

Keith Hatherall on 07741 999220 or 01639 643328