It's game time for new-look Magpies

Forbes Magpies are primed to defend the Group 11 premiership, kicking off their 2019 campaign at their home ground this weekend.

Life-time Magpies rugby league player Hayden Bolam takes on the first grade captaincy as the Forbes club hosts their first game of the 2019 Group 11 season this Sunday.

Life-time Magpies rugby league player Hayden Bolam takes on the first grade captaincy as the Forbes club hosts their first game of the 2019 Group 11 season this Sunday.

New captain Hayden Bolam says numbers at training have been the best he's seen, his focus is on doing the little things right as the season gets underway.

Bolam has played magpies since under sevens, captained the Under 18s side to a competition win in 2014 and was on the 2016 and 2018 premiership sides.

He's looking forward to getting the first game, against Nyngan at Spooner Oval this Sunday, done and taking it week by week from there.

"There's plenty of numbers at training, it's the most numbers I've seen," he said before the Easter break.

Brad McMillan and Ben Maguire will don the black and white for another year, Ethan Gaffney and Mitch Burke are also back.

Josh Toole is one of the exciting additions to the team, the former Bathurst St Pat's gun moving home to his family property at Bedgerabong.

Toole represented Ireland at the 2013 Rugby League World Cup and played NSW Cup with Illawarra and Mount Pritchard before having a season in England in 2018 with Betfred Championship outfit Sheffield Eagles.

Fullback Bailey Hartwig returns from north Queensland and Tongia Fox will join the front row.

The Magpies also expect to welcome players from the region including Jordan Hartwig from Eugowra, Jake Stenhouse and Hayden Robinson from Trundle.

There are also some notable absences, Charlie Staines (Penrith), Ben Robinson (retired), Farren Lamb (Oberon Tigers), Jarred Tyack (Orange CYMS), Traie Merritt (Bathurst St Pat's).

Trial games against Parkes and Cowra have given the captain and coach Cameron Greenhalgh the chance to move players around, try different combinations and see what's going to work for the new-look side.

From here, Bolam hopes to build on discipline, culture and "doing the little things right".

The Magpies open their 2019 campaign against Nyngan, one of the sides Bolam expects to perform well this season.

Our network of regional sports reporters understand the Tigers welcome Justin Carney (Hull), Jai Merritt (Macquarie), Ash Widders (Macquarie) and Brad Clavering (Hull).

Wellington, Bolam expects, will be another force in the competition, bolstered by Travis Waddell (Souths Logan), Dave Dryden (Newcastle region), Steve Gordon (Newcastle region), Tristan Lumley (Tweed Heads Seagulls), Jade Hooper (Macquarie), Wade Peachey (Macquarie), Jack Kempston (Dubbo CYMS), Mason Williams (unattached) and Darrell Kemp (Westside).

In the other grades, Kristy Hartwig says Forbes' league tag squad is looking strong.

"We learned a lot from the trial (against Parkes)," she said.

The squad has a good mix of experience with some fresh faces lining up for the 2019 competition.

"They've come together really well as a team, we've got a great club culture," Hartwig said.

"We've made the best of our trials working out new combinations and some core skills.

"I'm really looking forward to the season."