Juniors also a focus for the Elks this year

The Glen Innes Elks are gearing up for a big 2021 after undergoing a significant rebuild in their shortened 2020 season.

With the coronavirus pandemic affecting various sports competitions last year, he Elks benefitted and grew from one third grade team to fielding three men's grades every week as well as a women's 7s team who made the New England Rugby Union grand final.

"It definitely was a blessing in disguise for us," new Elks president Ben Emery said of the coronavirus situation.

"We picked up a lot of numbers off the back of that, both within Glen and externally.

"A lot of the Inverell guys have gone back but we are going to hold onto a few guys.

"At the very least, we have made some connections and we will be able to keep working on through that."

The club is aiming to field two men's teams this year as well as potentially a women's 7s team once again.

I think there is a bit of pressure on the league this year as well.

Without being their shortfall, we are hoping to capitalise on that as well.

"We have got numbers, we are finalising a couple of players from last year but at this stage we are running two teams," he said.

"There will be some of our guys keen to play both codes as well.

"I think it is good, try and keep both codes going in Glen Innes."

They've already got trials planned in Tenterfield and Croppa Creek as well as two teams entered in the annual Inverell 7s tournament. Another area Emery wants to build is the club's junior base.

"Something I am very passionate about is getting the grassroots rugby going in Glen Innes," he said.

"We are making some small steps, with small steps you start gaining momentum so going forward trying to get some grassroots happening, working with the Armidale guys down there.

"Also working with Inverell to try and tidy a few numbers up and we have made contact with Tenterfield as well so we will try and kick something along, get something going."