Jesse Bromwich won't forget May 6, 2016, in a hurry.

Not only did the Melbourne Storm prop lead his country for the first time, he did it with younger brother Kenny beside him.

Kenny was the surprise late call-up for the Kiwis ahead of their 16-0 loss to the Kangaroos last Friday night, gaining a spot on the interchange bench.

"[It] was probably a career highlight for me, captaining the side and having my little brother in the team," said Jesse. "Growing up as kids, you dream of it but you don't think it's going to come true. It's a massive achievement for our family. When I found out, I was a little bit emotional but you just have to keep it together, wish him all the best and hopes he does a good job."

Advertisement

Kenny did a reasonable job, especially considering the circumstances. Not only was he coming into a seriously depleted Kiwis side, but he had never played a full match at hooker in his life, not even as a junior.

"It's never been my position," said Kenny. "I've jumped in there about five times in my career, when Smithy [Cameron Smith] comes off ... for about 10 minutes or something. But any place I got, I was willing to put my hand up and accept."

After a string of withdrawals, Kenny was called into camp as the 19th man. He wasn't lined up to play, until coach Stephen Kearney made a decision just before the captain's run on Thursday.

"I was stoked, I couldn't believe it really," said Kenny. "Everything just fell into place. I rang my dad and I don't think he could believe it, he sounded so happy. We were both over the moon."

Bromwich saw almost 30 minutes of action, contributing 22 tackles and a couple of charging runs.

"I didn't feel out of place out there," said Kenny. "A couple of passes didn't find the mark which wasn't good enough but otherwise I did all right."

The Bromwich brothers continue a proud New Zealand tradition.

Kurt and Dane were the first Kiwis siblings of the modern era, before Nick and Owen Wright in the 1980s, along with Joe, Tea and Iva Ropati.

In the 1990s to early 2000s, it became quite common: Kevin and Tony Iro, John and David Lomax, Henry and Robbie Paul, Vinnie and Louis Anderson. Before last Friday, the most recent were Jason and Nathan Cayless.

"It was a long way from the back yard where we used to play in Manurewa," said Kenny. "It was always me and my sister, or me and a friend, versus him. Jesse used to dominate - he's always been big - but we used to get him a couple of times too."

Great Kiwis brothers

Dane and Kurt Sorensen:

Teamed up with Cronulla and their country. Two of the best forwards of their generations, whose careers were interrupted by a transfer ban.

Henry and Robbie Paul: Almost unstoppable as a halves duo, though both could play hooker. Unfortunate that most of their careers were in the Northern Hemisphere.

Kevin and Tony Iro: Played together for Wigan and Manly. Starred in some famous Kiwis wins in the 1990s.