Titans keen to keep reborn Rein
TITANS hooker Mitch Rein is on the verge of securing a contract extension at the Gold Coast less than a year after nearly giving up on his NRL dream.
Rein is expected to ink a new deal with the Titans within the next fortnight to remain at the club until at least 2020.
His career resurrection has come after the 28-year-old pondered whether he had a future in the NRL despite once being touted as potential NSW Origin hooker.
Rein won last year's Intrust Super Premiership with Penrith's reserve grade team, but had been told by the Panthers he was no longer wanted.
He headed to Europe on a post-season holiday before fate delivered him another crack at the NRL.
While in Croatia, Rein learned former Panthers reservegrade coach Garth Brennan had been appointed as Neil Henry's successor at the Titans.
Brennan video-called Rein one day to offer him a deal at the Titans.
"They didn't want me at Penrith for this year," Rein said.
"Penrith gave me the tap on the shoulder. They had other plans. They made it pretty clear I didn't have a future there.
"I got along with Garth pretty well from last year when he was the Reggies coach at Penrith. We formed a relationship.
"I was in Croatia on a little island called Brac. It was a long way away.
"I was going back and forth with my manager and him. It was doing my head in ringing people on the other side of the world. The time delay was a s*** fight.
"We got each other on Facetime one night and he was at a wedding. We had a good conversation and I felt like I had heaps more to offer in the NRL.
"Things hadn't worked out for me the last few years and I didn't want to give up on it too early."
Rein made his NRL debut for St George Illawarra in 2011 and was a NSW Country representative in 2014-15 as he edged towards Origin selection.
He left the Dragons after 132 games to join Penrith in 2017, but only managed five NRL appearances for the Panthers before being told to look elsewhere.
"I was looking at playing for Leigh Centurions (in England)," Rein said.
"Garth got a hold of me and told me there was an opportunity.
"I didn't really have much out there. I didn't want to give up my dreams of playing NRL. so I took the chance."
Rein has made the most of his second chance, playing all 18 games of the Gold Coast's up-and-down season.
He will come off the bench in Sunday's clash against New Zealand at Cbus Super Stadium, but has proven he can challenge former Blues hooker Nathan Peats for the No. 9 jersey.
"It's been a bit up and down," he said of his season.
"Playing the role I've had off the bench … I've had a few games getting on right at the end of the game which is a bit difficult.
"I'm doing everything I can to be the best at that. It's pretty hard at times.
"The hardest thing is to keep my headspace right and stay relaxed. You don't know when you're going to get on.
"I'm doing everything I can to be the best player. Everyone has got different roles and that's mine at the moment."
The Titans have lost their past three matches to drop out of top eight contention.
Some poor defence has cost them dearly in their late-season slide and Rein said Brennan had put them through gruelling training sessions this week to fix it.
"We've been beaten up a bit and had a couple of tough sessions this week which is understandable," he said.
"We've had really physical sessions. We've got a big game in defence coming up so we've ramped it up.
"We're going to have our hands full taking this pack on, so we have been bashing each other."