• Villa Park will host Rugby 7s in 2022 as part of Birmingham’s Bid
  • Aston Villa CEO Keith Wyness says they will host a fantastic event
  • England Rugby 7s legend James Rodwell is fully backing Birmingham

 Rugby 7s is a fantastic showcase of sport, demonstrating energy, skill and passion, with both players and fans actively engaging in the game.

As one of the Midlands’ premier sports stadiums that successfully hosted Rugby World Cup fixtures for the 2015 Championship, Villa Park Stadium, with 42,700 seats and home to English Football League club Aston Villa, was the obvious choice for hosting Rugby 7s, as part of Birmingham’s 2022 Commonwealth Games bid.

Aston Villa Chief Executive, Keith Wyness, is fully backing Birmingham’s bid and believes the venue will host a spectacular Rugby 7s tournament:

“Villa Park is a great sporting venue and an iconic Midlands sports institute. It has an amazing sporting history dating back to the 1900s and, as well as our regular football fixtures and the two Rugby World Cup 2015 matches, we have hosted many major events over the years, from boxing matches to concerts for music legends such as Springsteen and Take That.

“Rugby 7s is a fantastic event, providing a great day out for sports fans. I am sure that many Villa fans would want to be there and will be thrilled that Villa Park is playing a role.

“Our players and coaching staff would also welcome the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. There will be great opportunities to share information in the pursuit of sporting excellence and it would just be fantastic to be part of the event.

“Everybody at Villa Park said that hosting the Rugby World Cup was one of the most fulfilling things we have done for our community. We are a great community based club and it is important that we play our part in delivering the best ever Games in 2022.

“Being part of Team Birmingham and helping to bring the Commonwealth Games to Birmingham is something we are proud to be doing. This will be another first for Villa and we look forward to playing our role.

“I spent five years managing The Olympic Club for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games and then seven years on the board of the SECC Hydro Arena, which was a focal point for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. I have seen multi-sport events close up and know the amazing effect they can have and the positive impact they can bring to a host city.

“It is fantastic to be part of Birmingham’s Bid and with the role of the Commonwealth likely to become more important for Britain going forward, we will do all we can to bring the Games here.

“Bring it on!”

Villa players agree and cannot wait to see the Games come to Birmingham. Aston Villa FC and Wales national team player, James Chester said:

“Villa Park is one of the most inspiring stadiums a sportsperson could wish to compete in. It is both a traditional and iconic arena.

“Emerging from the tunnel and walking out into a wall of noise from all four stands is an uplifting experience. The Rugby 7s teams will have an incredible experience playing at Villa Park during Birmingham 2022 so let’s back the bid. ”

James Rodwell is England’s most capped Rugby 7s player of all time. He won a Silver medal at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in the sport’s inaugural Games and is a two-times Commonwealth Games player (Delhi 2010, Glasgow 2014). Having studied at University of Birmingham and played for Moseley Rugby Club, Rodwell is championing Birmingham’s bid:

“Rugby 7s is one of the most popular events at the Commonwealth Games. The atmosphere is electric and the fans get passionately involved so, as a player, it is an amazing experience to be part of. I have great memories of competing at the Commonwealth Games and would love to be representing England at Villa Park in 2022. Rugby fans who watched the Rugby World Cup fixtures at Villa Park will agree it was sensational. Let’s back Birmingham 2022 so we can recreate that again.”

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