York Valkyrie are delighted to announce the return of France Captain Elisa Akpa from Catalan Goddesses until the end of the 2023 season, thanks to the support of Squadbuilder!
Akpa, who is proudly sponsored by PMJ Masonry Ltd, returns having made four appearances for York last year, including featuring in the 22-14 win at Leeds Rhinos, which secured the Club a maiden League Leaders' Shield in the Betfred Women's Super League.
The versatile forward, who can play in the front-row and back-row, was also part of the York side which earned a spot in the BWSL Grand Final for the first time, beating Wigan Warriors 12-4 in the Play-Off Semi-Finals, before suffering a 12-4 defeat to Leeds Rhinos at the Totally Wicked Stadium.
Akpa won three appearances for France during last year's World Cup and was promoted to the role of Captain in March, having previously served as Vice-Captain.
Director of Rugby Lindsay Anfield, who is proudly sponsored by Acomb Travel, expressed her delight at Akpa's return.
Anfield said: "Elisa has been wanting to come back to York since the end of last season, but moving to another country is not a straight forward process.
"We're delighted that she has now made the move to York and we're looking forward to welcoming her back to the squad.
"Elisa arrives almost like an absent team-mate that hasn't been here for the first half of the season.
"She played in some big games for us last year and she knows how we go about things here, so I think it'll be a fairly seamless transition back into the group.
"We've got some really important games coming up over the four or five weeks, so to be able to bring in a seasoned international and a strong athlete to our forward pack is a massive boost for us."
Akpa said: "I'm so excited to be back at York, it's really wonderful and I'm so grateful.
"I had an amazing time at York last year, winning the League Leaders' Shield and playing for France in the World Cup in York, so it was really important to be back here.
"I really enjoyed being in the group last year, we were all really close and everyone was there for each other. It's a great Club for me."
On her ambitions for the rest of the year, the 31-year-old said: "After the Grand Final last year, I feel like I have not finished something here. I want to finish that this year.
"But, first I need to work really hard in training for the coach and for the team to win my shirt and my place on the field."
Akpa could make her second York debut when the Valkyrie travel to Huddersfield Giants in the Betfred Women's Super League on Sunday morning (11am) at Huddersfield Laund Hill.
Tickets are priced at £5 for Adults and £2 for Concessions and Under-16s. Tickets can only be purchased by cash on-the-gate.