Rugby chiefs impressed by Villa Park at pre-World Cup event
World Cup winner Will Greenwood was among those in attendance as the RFU launched its Young Rugby Ambassadors programme at a conference in B6.
The RFU - English rugby's governing body - wants to develop more young volunteers in rugby clubs across the country in the run-up to the 2015 Rugby World Cup. Around 360 delegates attended the unveiling of the new programme. Villa chief executive Paul Faulkner spoke at the event, discussing Villa Park's role as a venue for the World Cup.
Villa Park is one of the host stadia for the showpiece event in two years time, so staging this conference was perfect preparation.
Southern Hemisphere powerhouses Australia and South Africa - both two-time World Cup winners - will play group games at the home of the claret and blues.
"We are continuing to get really positive feedback from the conference, part of which is how positively delegates viewed Villa's role in the Birmingham RWC2015 programme, and for the enthusiasm and very open support the club was showing for Rugby in Birmingham," said Mike Dickenson from the RFU.
"The support and involvement in the Birmingham Rugby Partnership in the lead up to the event has been fantastic, and the service provided on the day was absolutely outstanding.
"All were made to feel really welcome on the day, which given we were rugby in a football environment, was re-assuring for many, and created a real buzz about Villa's involvement as a Host Venue and key partner.
"A sincere thanks once again to all of the team, and we look forward to working with Villa in the lead up to and beyond RWC2015."
Villa Park has proved to be a versatile venue for on and off-field events over the years.
As well as hosting England internationals, FA Cup semi-finals and concerts in recent times, its first-class conference and event facilities have been popular for major businesses and organisations.
What's more, the versatile venue is also perfect for major functions such as weddings.
Find out more about our range of conference and events facilities.