Gold Coast Titans coach Garth Brennan believes he's recruited "the ultimate competitor" as Mitch Rein reboots his NRL career after signing a one-year deal.
The 27 year-old rake had limited opportunities at Penrith this year, playing just five games when Peter Wallace was injured, but he didn't kick stones.
Instead, he shone with Brennan's Intrust Super Premiership side to help inspire NSW Cup and State Championship victories while also winning the Penrith outfit's player of the year award.
Rein was once viewed as a potential NSW hooker and will now join a club that boasts the current Blues rake Nathan Peats, who is recovering from a shoulder injury.
While a bench role looms as his likely initial re-entry into the NRL top 17, Rein left no doubt about his ultimate aim.
He played 132 games for the Dragons after making his debut in 2011 and was one of the first players picked each week. It is a scenario he wants to revisit.
"My goal is to play first grade," Rein said.
"There is a lot of hard work to be done before we play. I've got to put myself in a position where if I am called upon, I am ready."
Rein, who has begun pre-season training on the Gold Coast, had no doubt Peats would slot back in to the hooking role in 2018.
"He is a great player and will come back," Rein said of Peats.
"It is good to have healthy competition and I will be doing everything I can to get into the 17 anywhere.
"It will be good to work alongside [Peats] to see what he does and how he prepares."
Brennan called Rein while the former Kiama junior was on a recent overseas holiday.
"I'm looking forward to the challenge and having the opportunity to link up with Garth again, is great," Rein said.
"He is a champion guy and a great coach. Once he gave me a call it was a pretty easy decision."
Brennan knows the calibre of his new recruit and said he would be a strong addition to the squad.
"Mitch is the ultimate competitor and someone that I enjoy coaching," Brennan said.
"He is a terrific trainer and his attitude across every aspect of the game can't be faulted.
"He has made a smooth transition into the club and I know he is looking forward to working hard over the next few months of pre-season training."