YORK City Knights Ladies loose forward Rhiannion Marshall has accused the Rugby Football League (RFL) of gender bias.

Marshall was handed a four-match ban by the RFL last month after being charged with punching during York's 24-10 win over Leeds Rhinos at the LNER Community Stadium.

The forward was sent off for the incident at the end of the first half and is now out until the final game of the Betfred Women's Super League regular season against Leeds (5.15pm) at Headingley on Thursday, August 25.

Speaking out on social media, Marshall has criticised the governing body after Halifax Panthers centre Greg Worthington was suspended for three matches for punching during their 43-18 Betfred Championship win at Barrow Raiders.

Marshall wrote on social media: “Is this just me being stupid or is this absolutely ridiculous? A male player gets three match ban for punching… then watch my video and I get more matches than the Halifax player.

“The RFL have it in for me. I begged for them to go easy on me as the women’s game have nowhere near as many games as the men.

"And if I got a high end ban I wouldn’t have much left of the season. This ban leaves me with three matches left to play."

Former international Marshall went on to address her absence from the current England squad, believing it stems from a dislike from the RFL.

She continued: “I’ve held my own in the past because I was so scared of my position in the England squad. Well I’m no longer in the squad so here it is.

"My opinion on the RFL, they don’t like me and never have because I’m an aggressive player and also speak out for what I believe in.

"Probably the reason I’ve never been asked to go back into the England squad.

“Thanks for nothing and thanks for making my time playing ‘professional’ rugby league hell.”

In response, an RFL spokesperson told the LoveRugbyLeague website: “Since the 2021 season, disciplinary cases in the Betfred Women’s Super League have been subject to the same process as the men’s Betfred Championship and League One competitions; with cases considered by the Match Review Panel on Thursdays and specific cases sent to the independent Operational Rules Tribunal the following Tuesday.

“We do recognise this provides an issue in terms of the proportionality of suspensions; as both BWSL and League One have significantly fewer fixtures than the Betfred Super League or the Championship – this will be reviewed before the 2023 season.

“Players’ past record is a factor in the length of suspensions determined by the independent Operational Rules Tribunal.

“Rhiannion’s comments regarding England selection and other matters are disappointing, and have no basis in fact.”

As a result of her suspension, Marshall will miss York's matches against Huddersfield Giants (July 17, 12pm), St Helens (July 31, 2pm) and Wigan Warriors (August 14, 12pm).