Georgia Taylor is hoping she can vindicate the coaching staff’s decision to award her with the number five shirt ahead of York Valkyrie’s 2023 season opener.
Taylor was promoted to the starting jersey last month, having worn the 15 shirt last year.
The elevation further highlighted Taylor’s remarkable career journey.
Having only picked up a rugby ball for the first time in 2019, last year the winger featured in the Betfred Women’s Super League Grand Final defeat to Leeds Rhinos, whom the Valkyrie take on at Headingley Stadium on Sunday (3.30pm) to start the new BWSL season.
Taylor laughed: “I don’t think my Dad would have believed me all those years ago if I’d have said then that now I’d still be at it and getting a starting shirt in a team with England players. I am quite proud of that.
“I started at York in 2019 as Bettie Lambert’s partner is friends with my partner. I’d never touched a rugby ball before!
“I think my first game was against Castleford and we lost heavily, but I loved it. As a team we’ve made so progression and, like a few other girls that have been here a long time, you appreciate how much the Club is excelling.
“I feel like I’ve improved each year and the progression that the Club has made has massively helped my own game.
“The commitment that you have to make to play, is a lot, there’s a lot that you sacrifice. But the progress I think I’ve made on a personal and as a team makes it all worth it.”
On receiving the number five shirt, Taylor continued: “I didn’t see it coming as there’s a lot of wingers in the squad.
“I felt really lucky that my hard-work in the gym and on the field was noticed by the coaches.
“We’ve got strength in depth across the squad and the players that didn’t get starting shirts are really strong players.
“Hopefully I can get out onto the pitch and prove them right for giving me that squad number.”
On her ambitions for 2023, Taylor added: “Missing out on winning the Grand Final has made us more hungry this year.
“We’ve been working so hard in pre-season and we’re probably the fittest and strongest that we’ve ever been.
“I genuinely think we can have more success this year off the back of our success last year.
“We just want as much silverware as possible. Nines, Grand Final, League Leaders’, Challenge Cup - we want it all!”
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.