Mitch Rein
Close to new deal

St George Illawarra Dragons hooker Mitch Rein said the burden of being off-contract for the first time since becoming an NRL regular had been a distraction.

Fairfax Media understands Rein, who turned 23 on Friday, is close to extending his deal at the Dragons after making his debut in 2011.

”I’m reasonably close to making a decision,” Rein said. ”I’m waiting to see what the club comes up with. I’ve played my junior football at the Dragons so it’ll be great to stay here.”

The Dragons have signed Gareth Widdop and Joel Thompson, and are in the process of adding more players following the departure of five-eighth Jamie Soward. A wrangle over salary-cap ramifications, should St George Illawarra pay a transfer fee to the Castleford Tigers, is behind the hold up to the Dragons securing English half Rangi Chase.

If the Chase deal falls through, the Dragons will turn their attention to Canberra Raiders halfback Sam Williams. Negotiations are continuing with Williams’s former teammate Josh Dugan.

New Zealand Warriors back-rower Feleti Mateo is also on the Dragons’ wish list.

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