Gold Coast’s recruiting raid is close to netting another star in a blow to one of the club’s resurgent players. Here’s Mal Meninga’s latest plan.
Gold Coast’s recruiting raid is close to netting another star in a blow to one of the club’s resurgent players. Here’s Mal Meninga’s latest plan.

Meninga reveals plan for Titans’ next big signature

Titans hooker Mitch Rein has declared he is not a spent force in the NRL after Gold Coast culture chief Mal Meninga revealed the club is chasing a new No. 9 for 2022.

Rein faces a fight to continue his NRL career on the Gold Coast, with the Titans closing in on Melbourne Storm star Brandon Smith.

Off-contract at season's end, Rein has started the year in strong form as he pushes for a new deal at his third NRL club.

But the former Dragons and Panthers hooker may have to settle for being the Gold Coast's second-choice rake is he does secure an extension as Titans coach Justin Holbrook looks to bolster his dummy-half stocks.

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Gold Coast culture chief Mal Meninga wants to sign a new hooker. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)
Gold Coast culture chief Mal Meninga wants to sign a new hooker. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)

After landing star Queensland Origin duo Tino Fa'asuamaleaui and David Fifita this season, the Titans are ramping up their recruitment drive and chasing more big-name players.

Among them is New Zealand Test representative Smith, who has identified the Titans as the club he wants to join and start in the No. 9 jersey if he can secure a release from Melbourne.

After being linked to Broncos trio Kotoni Staggs, Xavier Coates and Brendan Piakura, Meninga admitted the Titans were in the market for a new hooker.

"I can assure you we'll be in the picture, with a lot of other clubs, around recruiting the best players we need for our organisation," he told Fox League.

"I can assure you now that we need a nine. That's our priority."

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A 190-game NRL representative, Rein said he wasn't fazed by Meninga's public declaration ahead of Sunday's clash against North Queensland in Townsville.

"That's out of my control really," he said.

"I've just got to do what's best for the team and put my best foot forward.

"There's no point me worrying about that stuff I can't control. It is what it is.

"Of course I (want to keep playing), why would I want to retire? Playing footy's the best thing in the world.

"We'll see how I go. No one is going to re-sign me unless I'm playing well so I've got to do that first."

 

Rein has racked up huge defensive numbers this season, registering 75 tackles in only 103 minutes of action across the first two rounds as he shares the dummy-half duties with Erin Clark.

Rein, 30, has looked sharp with the ball and said he was gearing up for a big year in his fourth season at the Titans as the club pushes for a drought-breaking finals berth.

"I've been enjoying it, I'm trying to get the simple things right like my defence and improving every week at the start of the year," he said.

"There's a few other guys there keeping me on my toes that have been playing well. We're getting a lot out of the competition all over the park. It's making us stronger.

"There's been a few ups and downs (over the years at the Titans), that's for sure. When I first came here we weren't really going too well.

"It's been an awesome club to join and everything is looking good for the future.

"They're getting together a really strong roster. The last two years has been really good.

"Hopefully we can keep improving week to week and be there at the end of the year."

Originally published as Meninga reveals plan for Titans' next big signature



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