Super League have a ready-made poster boy for its return
When Super League returns and they want a poster boy to bring back the stardust they’d be crazy to ignore Liam Marshall.
On the field, the Wigan winger is a marketing dream with his acrobatic tries and his flair for the magical.
Off the field, 23-year-old Marshall is just as charismatic with a happy-go-lucky personality, an infectious sense of humour and an eagerness to volunteer for just about anything.
Helping host Wigan’s pre-season dinner, singing and being front and centre at various Warriors promotions all come naturally to Marshall.
It’s the whole package that sports' bosses love - and parents want their youngsters to emulate.
And yet, just four years ago Marshall was doing his best to self-destruct the entire dream lifestyle.
Marshall only came to his senses after a rollicking from coach Shaun Wane and a spell on loan at Swinton, where he started to enjoy playing again.
He said: “Waney doesn’t beat about the bush and he told me I wouldn’t make it. I didn’t think so either at the time.
“Looking back I was stupid not trying or putting any effort in. I’d like to go back to that time and kick myself up the backside.
“Dad understands what it’s like to be a player but I really respect him for leaving me to make my own decisions and mistakes.”
After scoring 20 tries in 22 games for Swinton, Wigan decided to give Marshall another chance at the start of 2017.
He said: “I was really shocked but I was way off the mark fitness wise and a lot of people were saying I wasn’t up to standard.
“It was then it just clicked and I realised this was my last chance and I had to buckle down and change people’s opinions.
“I’m really pleased I’ve turned it around because now I’m in such a privileged position and would not change it for the world.”
Marshall still has plans to study for his accountancy qualifications but also fancies working in the media or in coaching when his career eventually ends.
Whatever he does, he’s likely to face it head-on - and noisily. He said: “Anyone will tell you that I’m loud and singing or performing all the time but that’s just me, I can’t help it.
“I’m always loud, lively and happy. My team-mates will definitely say I’m loud and probably annoying but hopefully they think I’m funny too.”
When it comes to rugby, though, it’s all pretty serious for Marshall these days with his sights set firmly on winning some silverware.
He played in the 2017 Challenge Cup final defeat to Hull but missed out on Wigan’s 2018 Grand Final win because of an ACL injury.
He said: “I really want to win something. If I won a Grand Final, and my career then ended, it would still be brilliant. I would finish happy.”
Marshall recently signed a contract extension that keeps him at Wigan until 2023, with an option for 2024.
https://www.dailystar.co.uk/sport/rugby ... r-21750817