Tyler Cassel has revealed how a Scottish snub led to him to play alongside his younger brother with a view of one day playing in the Rugby League World Cup.
The Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles forward will run out for Malta against Niue in the final of the Emerging Nations World Championship at St Marys on Saturday.
While the format for the 2021 World Cup has already been determined, there has been consideration Emerging Nations winners in the future could earn a wildcard entry for the qualification stage.
It's a massive opportunity for us and hopefully we take it with both hands and come away with a win.Tyler Cassel
It was only two years ago that Cassel represented Scotland in a Four Nations tournament but after missing out on selection for the 2017 Rugby League World Cup he elected to switch his allegiances to Malta for the chance to play alongside his younger brother, Kyle.
"We played with each other this time last year against Italy," Cassel told NSWRL.com.au.
"That was our first time running out together.
"It was awesome, I loved every minute of it. He actually scored a try, and then I was lucky enough for him to give me the ball to score the try.
"My little brother set me up instead of me setting him up. He's a quality player."
Malta played Niue in an earlier pool game and although Cassel crossed the line for a try in the second half, it wasn't enough to stop them going down 26-16.
He said the team had improved since then but they would need to be at their best if they were to match the physicality of Niue, who outmuscled them the first time around.
"They were emotional from the haka so we knew they were going to come out firing for the first 20 minutes or so," Cassel said.
"I think we just need to muscle up a bit more against those guys. The boys need to come prepared for another very physical match.
"If we can fix our discipline and ball-handling skills from game two it's going to make our game a lot easier because we don't have the size in the Maltese side over the Niue side.
"They're big and strong so if we keep inviting them down to our end it's going to be a tough day for us.
"But it's a massive opportunity for us and hopefully we take it with both hands and come away with a win."