BOLSTERING the pack with a recruitment swell, Kangaroos coach Andrew Hinchcliffe is determined to avoid the fate of inadequate depth for the second Group Nine season in a row.
Injuries and fatigue at the tail end of the season plagued Roos in their pursuit of improvement last year, but Hinchcliffe has dodged a repeat with a rigorous off-season recruitment drive.
Speaking yesterday, Hinchcliffe said six top recruits had been swept into the squad to resurrect the Roos this season.
"We're looking forward to a big improvement this year," he told The Daily Advertiser.
"The biggest thing for us is having improved depth and we're certainly looking forward to the season.
"I think all the sides that have been successful over the years have good depth, and it was definitely one of our shortcomings last season, or one of our areas for improvement."
Dynamic Forbes duo Matt Roylance and Ethan Gaffney are the latest additions to the Roos outfit, which includes Brothers star Eden Price, Southcity front-rower Evan Davis and Cootamundra fullback Liam Duffy.
Gaffney and Roylance are both utilities with blistering reputations from Group 11, and are expected to slot into the halves or the backline, while New Zealand front-rower Hayden Davies will lead the pack.
Brayden Scarr will also make a comeback to the Roos after leaving midway through last season to live in Sydney.
Rather than overwork the squad in the preseason, Hinchcliffe said Roos would ease into the competition to avoid burning out at the end of the year.
"We're doing a bit of the opposite this year, we're not starting until the end of the month," he said.
"I looked back at last year and for us I think we hit a bit of a wall in the last four weeks or so, so I thought I'd shorten the season a bit.
"That still gives us a good seven weeks to prepare."
Roos have sidestepped the West Wyalong Knockout this year, but Hinchcliffe is organising an additional trial game on the weekend after the Group Nine and Group 20 combined preseason competition.
The additional trial will give Roos three consecutive weekends of game preparation before the Group Nine season starts on April 27.
"We'll do the preseason comp and we're looking at another trial outside of that but we haven't locked anything in yet," he said.