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Panthers sign Dragons NRL discard Rein

AAP logoAAP 28/10/2016

Penrith have thrown Mitch Rein a NRL lifeline, signing him to a two-year deal.

After being told by St George Illawarra he would not be given a new contract, the 26-year-old hooker on Friday announced a move to the foot of the mountains.

Once touted as a future NSW State of Origin representative, Rein's stocks took a slide during the Dragons' ordinary 2016 campaign.

Rein, who made 132 appearances since debuting in 2011, reportedly asked the Dragons for $450,000 a season, a figure the club refused to pay.

He will join the Panthers as a back-up to veteran Peter Wallace.

"I am really excited to be joining the Panthers," Rein said.

"It's a young team with so much potential and the training facilities are world class, like nothing else I have seen in the NRL."

Wallace has undergone a late-career revival after being shifted into the No.9 jersey in 2016 by coach Anthony Griffin.

The two-time NSW Country representative faces a tough task to break into the Panthers' top 17, with promising youngster Sione Katoa also coming through the ranks.

"Mitch is a representative-class player and will provide our roster with tremendous depth and competition in key positions," Panthers executive general manager Phil Gould said.

"I'd also like to think this could turn into a long-term association down the track."

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