AFTER missing the New England Rugby Union finals in 2018, Tamworth Rugby Club coach Peter Burke is hoping his side will have "more balance" in 2019.
The Magpies recently returned from a trial match against the Coffs Harbour Snappers, a trial Burke said the squad "took a lot out of".
"I think the trip to Coffs Harbour went very well for our guys," Burke said.
"They probably had enough players for three teams while we took over enough for one.
"So from a fitness perspective our guys got a good run under their belt and I think we took a lot from the hit out as well."
This season will mark the first time Magpies will field four men's teams as well as a women's team.
"It really will be an exciting year for our club," Burke said.
"Our numbers at training have been really good so far and I think we will see them increase in the coming weeks as the season approaches."
Burke told the Leader he was excited to see Darcy Barker line up for the side in 2019, alongside several new recruits.
"I'm really looking forward to having Darcy in the side this season," he said.
"He has spent the last few years playing with the University of Newcastle and has really improved.
"I think he has filled out a lot and will slot really well into our side alongside our current core group of players and some of our new recruits.
"Hopefully with those few inclusions and our established guys, we will have a bit more of a balanced team in 2019."
The Magpies will begin their 2019 campaign with a home clash against Barbarians on March 30.
"We will have an interclub trial match on March 23 before the first game against Barbarians," Burke said.
"While most of our guys are really fit, there is no fitness like match fitness and this trial match should be a good way to get ready for round one."