The star – who earned more than 50 caps for his country – gave a speech at the champagne reception for the sought-after Sunbury-on-Thames development.

Speaking at the evening reception, the 40-year-old former scrum half said: “I’m really excited to have helped mark the launch of Park Avenue and to have met the Crest Nicholson team behind this fantastic development, not to mention some of its prospective new residents! Sunbury is a beautiful area which I know well, so I imagine there’s going to be a lot of demand for these new homes.”

Built on the former London Irish training ground, Park Avenue is an exclusive collection of luxury one, two and three bedroom apartments and spacious three, four and five bedroom executive homes located in a peaceful setting, moments from the River Thames.

The development promises residents a relaxed village lifestyle set amongst beautiful leafy landscaped open spaces, with welcoming local pubs, restaurants and tempting boutique shops just around the corner.

With direct trains into London’s Waterloo station, it represents an extremely attractive place to live for commuters looking for a home away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

The range of contemporary properties on offer - some of which will be available with Help to Buy - will appeal to both families searching for an idyllic retreat as well as first-time buyers keen to get their foot on the property ladder. 

Crest Nicholson is continuing to register interest from prospective buyers and members of the public are now invited to visit the Park Avenue page of the website to submit their details at www.crestnicholson/parkavenue or by calling Crest Nicholson’s Sales Team 01932 505 495.

Christine Tiernan, Sales and Marketing Director at Crest Nicholson South, said: “Park Avenue is an exquisite location to live, and is in one of the most naturally beautiful parts of the country. With the nearby Sunbury railway station running regular trains into London, it is perfectly positioned for commuters.

“We are expecting a large amount of interest in Park Avenue from a mixture of buyers, including those looking to take advantage of the government’s Help to Buy initiative.”

Help to Buy is the government-backed scheme which makes it possible to buy a new-build or existing home priced up to £600,000 with as little as a 5% deposit.

New residents can look forward to slipping into the laid-back way of life enjoyed in Sunbury; a town which boasts handsome period architecture and is home to many boutique stores, traditional pubs and fine restaurants.

Meanwhile, more shopping and dining options are on offer in the nearby town of Richmond, where visitors can enjoy a Michelin starred meal at the award-winning Bingham Hotel or tuck into the finest Argentine steaks at renowned restaurant chain Gaucho.

Those seeking a more vibrant offer will enjoy nearby Kingston where the ever popular Bentalls Shopping Centre and Kingston Ancient Market can be found. Add to this the vast array of eateries and there is truly something for everyone.

For more information visit www.crestnicholson/parkavenue or call Crest Nicholson’s Sales and Marketing Team on 01932 505 495.