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Rein in 'good headspace' as 200 game milestone beckons

With 188 games of NRL football under his belt, Mitch Rein is one of the Titans most experienced players.

The 30-year-old is in his 11th pre-season (6 with St George Illawarra, 1 with Penrith and 4 with Gold Coast) and says his game is in really good shape as he looks to lock down the number nine jersey in 2021.

"It's (pre-season) not getting any easier, but this one has been really enjoyable," Rein said.

"The coaching staff has done a really good job of having a bit of a different approach which has been doing stuff with the footy and not just getting flogged running.

"There's been a good balance of skills, running, contact and weights - it's been really good."

Rein played nine times for the Titans in 2020, with the Gold Coast winning six of those games, including five in a row to finish the season.

Despite being one of the older players in the squad, Rein says he doesn't feel any extra responsibility to take on a leadership role.

"We've got a fair few leaders at our Club and there are even a lot of young guys that are taking on that role," he said.

"Everyone shares the load and everyone is accountable.

"It's been really good for us over the backend of last year and into this pre-season, everyone is driving what we are trying to achieve and sharing the load."

Erin Clark is expected to challenge Rein for the hooking role, with the 23-year-old playing 10 games for the Titans in 2020.

Rather than shying away from the competition for spots, Rein says it is driving both players to be better.

"We are out there pushing each other and doing extra passing and kicking ," he said.

"We (Clark and Rein) both have different skillsets.

"It's good when you have someone to work with that you get along with and you try and get the best out of each other in terms of performance."

A milestone game beckons for Rein in 2021, with 200 career games a realistic achievement this season.

"That (reaching the milestone) would be awesome, but I've just got to get out there first and I've still got a lot of work to do this pre-season.

"I've got to get the body in the best shape and then we'll see.

"My first game was against the Gold Coast Titans actually, I was playing for the Dragons and we played at Cbus.

"I just remember feeling so off the pace back then but now I'm a lot more comfortable and I'm enjoying it.

"That'd be a good achievement but you don't sit back and count how many games you do, I've just got to concentrate on getting out there first.

"My personal goal is to get myself in the best physical and mental shape that I can.

"Just being in that good headspace, I feel I'm in a good place right now and the team is helping with that too.

"I just need to get my performances right and hopefully that will be good for the team."