The NRL Nines concept has been a springboard for many players to break into the elite level because of its speed and open style of play, and newly-appointed Titans Nines captain Mitch Rein is looking forward to seeing a number of his younger troops follow the same blueprint.
Rein was this week appointed as the leader of the Gold Coast’s 18-man squad that has headed west to compete in the NRL Nines competition, being held at HBF Park in Perth on Friday and Saturday.
The 29-year old was handed the role by Titans Head Coach Justin Holbrook, and the talented rake admits he can’t remember the last time he was the skipper of a side.
“I have no idea to be honest , I can’t remember,” Rein said.
“I’m not sure if I got it by default, cause I’m the oldest. But It should be good.
“We’ve got a young side and some really talented guys, so to be able to share the field with them will be pretty exciting.
“I’m looking forward to getting over there and playing again with all my teammates.”
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The Titans squad is an exciting mix of youth and experience, with the likes of Jonus Pearson, Jaimin Jolliffe, Greg Leleisiuao, Treymain Spry, Erin Clark and Darius Farmer playing for the Titans at the top level for the first time.
“We’ve got a lot of young guys who are pulling on the jersey for the first time, and I know they can’t wait to get over there and show all the other teams what they’re made of and how hard they’ve worked this pre-season,” Rein said.
“I know the Nines concept is a bit of fun and teams say they’re not taking it too seriously. But once you get over there, everyone wants to win because that’s the nature of the game that we play.”
Although very different to the normal 13-man game, Rein knows that the younger squad members will be looking beyond this week and using good performances in the Nines to gain a spot in the trials to be played in the coming weeks against both Burleigh and the Broncos.
“Definitely, I think that’s right. There’s no better chance to put your best foot forward and I think it’ll be really good,” he said.