Riverina's squad for the Country Championships will have a stronger Group Nine presence. Three Group 20 players have come out of the squad while Young recruit Josh Ayers has been added in after the side's first training run on Saturday. Temora product Hayden Philp, who has won the last two Group 20 best and fairest awards, Jonathon Sila and Joe Peota have all come out of the side. Despite the changes, coach James Luff is pleased with how the team is shaping up and believes Ayers, who is the reigning Canberra Raiders Cup best and fairest winner, will add some more firepower to the forward pack. "He's a representative player who had quite a good year last year," Luff said. "Being a late signing for Young I thought he would be a great inclusion to the squad. "To have his experience will be great and apart from that we're looking pretty well as the squad was named originally. "I haven't picked a final team yet but after this weekend hopefully I'll have a good knowledge of the players for the first round." READ MORE He was also impressed with how the team came together for their first training run. "It was really good," Luff said. "It was a good hit out and a lot of the boys hadn't done any contact so we got into a bit of contact to see where everyone is at. "I'm sure there will be a few sore boys and bodies to start the week off but it was a good first hit out and hopefully we can keep building." Riverina kick start their campaign with a trip to Camden to face West Tigers for the second year running next Sunday before hosting Illawarra-South Coast, who knocked them out in last year's semi-final, at Equex Centre on March 5. The Bulls scored two good wins in their pool stage last year but Luff expects a bigger challenge this time around. "We're looking forward to it," he said. "The Group 6 side (Tigers) have named their squad and they've good a good squad with a lot of blokes who have been in systems so it will be interesting to see how we go but we've just got to focus on what we've got in the next couple of weeks to prepare for it."