Red Star Belgrade's rugby league team are preparing for their Challenge Cup debut.
- Copyright: Red Star Belgrade
Red Star Belgrade's rugby league side make their debut in the famous Challenge Cup when they face Millom on Sunday.
The Challenge Cup is a knockout rugby league cup competition held annually since 1896, with the exception of 1915–1919 and 1939–1940. It involves amateur, semi-professional and professional clubs.
The teams from the top tier of rugby league, the Super League - enter the Cup in the fifth and sixth rounds, with the final of the prestigious competition held at Wembley Stadium.
The current holders of the Challenge Cup are Catalan Dragons who defeated Warrington Wolves 20–14 to become the first non-British team to win the competition in its 117-year history.
However, the French side were considering their entry in this year's competition after the RFL asked the club to pay a £500,000 entry deposit but the governing body reached an agreement "to end recent uncertainty about their participation".
Wigan Warriors are the most successful club in the history of the competition, winning the cup a record 19 times.
The first round of the Challenge Cup will see 52 teams battle for a spot in the second round of the competition.
44 English amateur clubs, the Scottish, Welsh & Irish champions, three Armed Forces teams, the British Police team plus the reigning Serbian Champions will take part at this stage.
This season will be the first since the 1990s that no student sides will be playing in the competition.
The BBC will show games from each round of the Rugby League Challenge Cup live on the BBC Sport website and app and on TV in 2018.
One match will be streamed live on the BBC Sport website for the first five rounds of the competition.
From the sixth round onwards, coverage switches to BBC One and BBC Two every weekend up to and including the final at Wembley on 24 August.
Our coverage begins today as Millom welcome Challenge Cup debutants Red Star Belgrade at Coronation Field.
Millom, of the National Conference League Third Division, defeated Strathmore Silverbacks and Bradford Dudley Hill to reach the third round last year, before succumbing to 32-16 defeat away at Pilkington Recs.
Red Star Belgrade, the current Serbian champions, have become the elite team in the Balkans over the past few seasons, winning the Balkan Super League in addition to back-to-back domestic championships.
Should they progress to the second round, they will automatically play away from home again as part of their agreement with the RFL for entry into the competition.
Sunday, 27 January
Millom v Red Star Belgrade
13:30-15:30, Connected TV and online
Fancy giving rugby league a go yourself?
There are so many different versions of the sport, so there is something to suit everyone, regardless of your age, gender or ability.