Rhiannion Marshall is hoping that she can be “like a new signing” to York Valkyrie in 2023.
Marshall was restricted to just five appearances for York last year after serving a four-match suspension for a sending off against Leeds Rhinos last year.
The former England international - who is proudly sponsored by YorWealth - could make her return to the field against the reigning Betfred Women’s Super League champions Leeds when the Valkyrie visit Headingley Stadium on Sunday afternoon (3.30pm) in the new season opener.
And she is hoping to make the impact of a new addition on her long-awaited return to the field.
“Last year was really hard,” Marshall admitted. “Getting to the Grand Final and not being able to play, I felt silly.
“That one split-second in that game against Leeds changed everything for me for the whole year.
“It was a really tough year but it’s spurred me on and has made me want to improve in every single aspect of my game for this year.
“Hopefully I can prove that when we’re out there on the field."
She added: “I just want to be better for the team, it’s not only about myself. Everything that I do now is to be better for Lindsay (Anfield, Director of Rugby), Callum (Windley, assistant coach) the rest of the coaching staff and the girls too.
“Hopefully this year I can be like a new signing and I can prove that I’m worthy of being in an elite squad.”
Marshall hailed the support received from Valkyrie Director of Rugby Lindsay Anfield during the off-season ahead of Sunday’s potential comeback.
“I love Lindsay and she’s someone that I really look up to,” enthused the forward. “She’s been there for me during the good times and when I’ve gone through dark times too.
“I am a handful and I know I’m a handful,” Marshall laughed, “but she’s stood by me, so I’ve got a lot of respect for her. I’d love to see my career out with Lindsay here at York.”
While Marshall hopes to make the impact of a new signing, some bonafide new additions have strengthened the Valkyrie squad during the off-season.
Leeds prop Aimee Staveley and Salford Red Devils half-back Sade Rihari are the highest-profile signings to be made by Anfield.
“You can tell that the coaching staff have put in a lot of research to who we’re bringing in,” continued Marshall.
“We needed a half-back, so we brought in Sade, who is class. And bringing Aimee in adds a lot of experience, because we’ve got a lot of young players in our squad.
“Adding those two players will make a lot of difference to us as they’re just what we needed.
“I think they’re really going to up our game this year.”
On her ambitions for 2023, Marshall asserted: “Hopefully we can get that treble. We want as much silverware as possible. That’s definitely the goal for this year.”
Tickets for York Valkyrie's Betfred Women's Super League clash against Leeds Rhinos at Headingley Stadium on Sunday (3.30pm) are available to purchase NOW.
Full ticket information can be found HERE.