Howard Brothers - Born in the USA
Danny and Steve Howard were together in 2013 when the USA qualified for the World Cup Quarterfinals and they are lining up for the Hawks in the World Cup Qualifiers, with Danny crashing over for a try in the Hawks’ game one victory against Jamaica last weekend.
The Howard brothers play in the front row (Steve) and second row (Danny) and they currently live in Australia where they represent the Wentworthville Magpies, which is located in the western suburbs of Sydney.
Both Danny and Steve were born in Los Angeles and have been representing the USARL Hawks since 2011.
A lot has changed since 2011 when they debuted for the Tomahawks, as the team is now called the Hawks and it is made up of far more domestic players as opposed to heritage players.
Despite the differences, Danny and Steve expected the professionalism of their new teammates to be just as impressive.
“I have heard the USARL was very competitive this year and the players are more than capable for the task ahead,” Danny Howard said.
Steve echoed the same sentiments, stating “I expected the exact same dedication and commitment as shown from every player that put on a tomahawks jersey [in 2013].”
The Howard brothers have been back to the US several times to see family and friends, and their connection to the USARL team and the country is clear to see when they discuss the importance of the 2013 World Cup to them.
"To do so with such a great bunch of mates and in front of my family made it even more special,” Danny said.
“The experience of getting to the quarterfinals was unreal, no one really rated us before the tournament but there was a strong belief in the team,” Steve exclaimed.
Danny and Steve have an added incentive to qualify for the world cup, not that they really need it.
The 2017 World Cup will be held in Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea, and the possibility of representing the USA in front of their family and friends in Australia is an exciting prospect.
“To play in a Rugby League World Cup in Australia would be unbelievable as most of our family and friends would be there to watch it.”
“I am proud to represent my country of birth, the USA, so hopefully we can get the job done,” Danny stated.
“It would be a massive honor to help the team qualify for the World Cup, as I am immensely proud to wear the US jersey and will be doing my utmost to represent my country with distinction and courage,” Steve added.
Despite the exciting possibilities that may lie ahead, the Howard brothers are focused on the match at hand this week against the Canada Wolverines.
Canada (like Jamaica and the USA) have also added heritage players from Australia, New Zealand and England, which will only strengthen their squads, so the Hawks must be disciplined in both offense and defense.
The Hawks are at the top of the group thus far, but a win (or a draw) is required for the team to qualify for the 2017 World Cup as Jamaica and Canada had an 18 all draw.
There can be no denying that the result of the Qualifiers is crucial to the growth of Rugby League in each of the three countries, but Danny and Steve Howard have never forgotten the reasons why people play the sport.
“It’s always good to play with new guys as Rugby League is a fantastic sport to build friendships with guys who play alongside you,” Danny said.
Steve furthered his brother’s comments, saying “I already knew a few guys in the team but it is always good to play with guys I haven’t met and has been great meeting and working with all the staff who are involved.”
USARL would like to wish the best of luck to Steve and Danny Howard for the match against Canada on Saturday and would also like to congratulate them on their continued selection in the USARL Hawks team.
Next up - Game 3 / USA vs Canada Saturday 3pm