A RUGBY club is looking for answers after thieves broke in, cut phone lines and stole more than £2,000 from a safe.

Gwent Police were called following a burglary at Talywain RFC in Emlyn Road which happened between 10.55pm on Friday, January 5 and 9.30am the next morning.

When staff arrived, they found the front door had been “booted in”, the cameras turned upwards, alarm systems cut and a safe removed from the clubhouse and discarded on the rugby pitch.

Although the thieves failed to access another safe which was “concreted-in” they also took £230 - including cash from a family fund for a Talywain dad and former rugby player in a coma.

As previously reported, ex-Wales Dragonhearts player Scott Bessant was found with life-changing injuries in a Pontypool lane in August last year and has remained in hospital since.

Talywain RFC had been raising funds for the family of Scott Bessant by selling tribute wreaths which display the colours of the club.

Bar manager at Talywain RFC, Tracy Brandon, estimated that charity money taken included around “£80 plus” from the Bessant family fund and money raised for Cancer Research UK.

“They have cut all the electric, phones and internet and broken all of the outside lights,” she said.

“It’s quite sickening the way it has been done but we’re still open and functioning.

“If we don’t, they win.”

It is believed the thieves used equipment to gain access to a safe which contained between £2,000 and £2,500 before leaving tyre tracks littering a field near the scene.

Scott Bessant’s brother-in-law, Neil Chere -while crediting the “massive response” towards the family fund - said he was “gutted that some of it won’t get where it needs to go”.

“Talywain RFC was Scott’s local club where he would play in his early days and where he grew up playing rugby,” he added.

Mr Bessant is currently at Rookwood Hospital in Cardiff and a police investigation is ongoing into the circumstances surrounding his injuries.

Club secretary Ruth Flower added Mr Bessant “supported Talywain RFC and always has done” and that the crime left a very “low” atmosphere at the club.

“They didn’t come in through the main car park so nobody outside would have seen anything,” she said.

“The club is absolutely gutted about it and devastated to think someone would come and do that.

“But it’s not just the club, it’s the community.”

Damage to the phone lines caused “disruption” as several groups use the facilities from mini rugby and skittles to a dance group.

Although the phone lines and internet have been restored to the building, bar manager Tracy Brandon fears that the removal of CCTV hard drives has left the club with “no evidence”.

Abersychan ward councillor, Giles Davies, said he was “disappointed” to hear about the break-in.

“This club along with other clubs in our community provide much needed services for our young and old, giving them a place to socialise,” he said.

“It provides an outlet teaching our young discipline, social skills and the art of playing rugby.

“I can’t believe that someone would stoop this low and attack the very heart of our proud community within the Abersychan ward.

“I appeal to anyone with any information to contact the authorities.”

A Gwent Police spokeswoman confirmed that a red safe was “removed from the building, forced open and the contents taken” with the thieves “also attempting to break into a second safe”.

“The exact amount of money stolen from the red safe is unknown at this time,” she said.

If anyone witnessed the crime or has any information call 101 quoting log 126 6/1/18 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.