LONDON Broncos wing Dalton Grant and Oldham prop Joe Burke are flying the flag for Gwent at the Rugby League World Cup as part of John Kear’s Wales squad.

The Dragons got their campaign under way today with a Group C match against Papua New Guinea, one of the tournament’s host countries alongside Australia and New Zealand.

Newport-born pair Grant and Burke, both 27, weren’t selected for Wales’ opening pool stage game but they could feature in the clashes with Fiji on November 5 and Ireland a week later.

Wales first qualified for a World Cup in 1975, before back-to-back semi-final appearances in 1995 and 2000 – they failed to win a match in 2013.

“Wales haven’t won a World Cup game since 2000,” said Kear. “That’s one I was involved in and hopefully they can win one in the next one I’m involved with.

“The first aim is ticking off a win so that we break that duck and then, if we get the win early on, I don’t think there’s any reason to think we can’t go through the group stages and play in the knockout stages.

“That would be a massive success for everybody involved in Wales."

Joining former Newport Titans duo Grant and Burke down under is Caerphilly’s Rhodri Lloyd, who plays his club rugby for Swinton Lions, while Craig Kopczak captains Wales.

Fourteen teams are taking part in the World Cup, which started yesterday with reigning champions Australia beating England 18-4 in Melbourne.

France and Lebanon join those two in Group A, New Zealand, Scotland, Samoa and Tonga make up Group B and Fiji, Italy and the USA form Group D.

Sides in pools B and D play one inter-group game each.

"I feel we've got the toughest inter-group game because there's 18 out of 24 NRL players in that Fiji team, but we'll play the cards we're dealt," added Kear.