Canberra's Stephen Howard, playing a World Cup rugby league qualifier for the USA.
THEY barely know the words to The Star-Spangled Banner, but it won't make two Canberra brothers any less proud to represent the US at the rugby league World Cup.
Danny and Stephen Howard have been chosen in a 24-man squad for the Tomahawks in their inaugural campaign, to be held in Great Britain this month and next.
It will be the just the third time the siblings have lined up together after making their international debuts for their country of birth in World Cup qualifiers against South Africa and Jamaica in 2011.
Canberra's Danny Howard, playing a World Cup rugby league qualifier for the USA.
Danny, 28, is a second-rower for NSW Cup side Wentworthville and has previously been on contract with the Sydney Roosters, while 26-year-old Stephen was this year the best and fairest for the Tuggeranong Bushrangers in the Canberra Raiders Cup.
Danny moved to Sydney several years ago to further his career and is relishing the rare opportunity to play alongside his brother.
''It makes the world of difference,'' Danny said. ''If I got selected and he didn't or vice versa there would have been a little bit of hollowness to be in the squad. It's pretty awesome we're both there.''
The brothers were born in Los Angeles while their parents were working in the US, moving back to Canberra soon after.
They attended Marist College, taking up rugby union before switching to the 13-a-side code once they finished high school.
Danny was in the first-grade squad at the Roosters in 2008 and played in the epic extra-time NSW Cup grand final with feeder club Newtown Jets that year, alongside Roosters stars James Maloney and Jake Friend. He joined Wentworthville, the team they lost to in the decider, the following season.
Danny was voted the club's best forward this season, but it wasn't enough for a call-up to wooden spooners Parramatta, which is affiliated with the Magpies.
''I've played six years in the NSW Cup in a row, five with Wenty and one with Newtown, so I thought I might have cracked the NRL by now,'' Danny said. ''This year was probably my best year and Parra got the spoon and I still didn't get a crack, but that happens.''
The USA is coached by Broncos premiership winner Terry Matterson and features a handful of NRL players, including Parramatta pair Joseph and Junior Paulo and Panthers veteran Clint Newton.
Stephen Howard is optimistic the squad can perform strongly against the Cook Islands, Wales and Scotland. As for singing the American anthem, that's a more difficult proposition.
''I know the first line,'' Stephen laughed. ''I'm just going to pull the tough face and maybe squeeze a tear out.''