It's been an up and down ride for Darcy Barker since returning to Tamworth and to the "nest" that he regards as home.
In his first season back the backrower was named Tamworth's best and fairest.
Then, after at one stage it looked like he might have to leave town he was able to secure a job, only for COVID to put the brakes on the season.
It eventually went ahead but Barker opted to sit it out.
Last season after a slow start, the Magpies were just starting to hit their straps when the second wave resulted in what was left of the season being aborted.
Now the 27-year old physiotherapist is etching another chapter in his families' storied history with the club.
Appointed vice-captain at the start of the season, Barker has captained the Magpies their last two games after Blake Clout broke his thumb in their season opener.
And on Saturday he will lead them out onto Tamworth Rugby Park for the first time (for first grade) since July last year.
After watching on as second grade and the women's side had the opportunity to last week, Barker said everyone is pumped to finally get to play in front of a home crowd.
"We're pretty excited," he said.
As he has been to captain the last couple of weeks with the club a big part of his life for as long as he can remember.
"It's always been home - the nest," he said.
He briefly flew the coop for university, but returned after he finished to continue to build on the Barker legacy at the club.
Dad Paul is a club legend and was part of the Magpies' Central North premiership dominance in the early 1990's, while brother Jack has played over 100 games, achieving the milestone in 2019.
"It is pretty special having that family history," Darcy acknowledged.
He will start at No.8 against Robb, which he is "very happy" about.
"Two weeks ago I had to jump into the second row," he said.
"It's not my bread and butter".
Coming off a disappointing loss to Barbarians two weeks ago, Barker said discipline has been a big focus.
"The last couple of weeks we've given away a few silly penalties," he said.
"It's something we want to fix and minimise for this week."
Both sides boast just the one win and the Magpies are bracing for a tough game.
"Robb are a pretty talented side and play a fast-paced style of rugby," Barker said.
It will be a full day of rugby action starting at 11.40am with the third grade clash between Albies' 4ths and Robb. Second grade (Tamworth v Robb) then play at 12.50pm followed by the women (2.15pm) and first grade (3.15pm).
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