Challenge Cup first round draw: Red Star Belgrade handed Cumbria trip

Red Star Belgrade will launch their first Challenge Cup adventure in Cumbria next January, after being drawn away to Millom in tonight’s First Round draw at Emerald Headingley.

The Serbian champions have entered the game’s oldest knockout competition for the first time and were one of several clubs who attended the draw before tonight’s England-Australia Academy international, conducted by the Bradford Bulls coach John Kear and the Leeds Rhinos women’s captain Lois Forsell.

Jake Connor, the Hull FC and England centre, also attended as the coach of Halifax amateur club Ovenden, and saw his club given a home tie against Woolston Rovers of Warrington.

Irish amateurs Longhorns were handed a daunting trip to Castleford Lock Lane; Edinburgh Eagles will travel to Normanton Knights; and Torfaen Tigers, the only Welsh team entering this stage of the competition, must also head to Cumbria, having been drawn away to Distington.

Other intriguing ties include Dewsbury Moor, the amateur club where the Burgess brothers began their careers, facing Skirlaugh of Hull – while of the three Armed Forces teams in the draw, the RAF have a relatively short trip to face North Herts Crusaders, with West Hull facing a long trip south to Portsmouth to play the Royal Navy.

The 26 ties will be played on the weekend of January 26-27, with one to be screened live on BBC Sport through their digital channels, and another on the RFL’s Our League app.

The Road to Wembley continues throughout the spring and summer, with the 12 Super League clubs joining at the fifth and sixth round stage in April and May, and the Challenge Cup Final at Wembley Stadium on Saturday August 24.

Challenge Cup First Round draw (ties to be played weekend of January 26-27): 

Kells v Rochdale Mayfield
Orrell St James v Underbank Rangers
West Bowling v Hammersmith Hills Hoists
Dewsbury Moor v Skirlaugh
East Leeds v Batley Boys
Wigan St Judes v Crosfields
Bentley v The Army
Royal Navy v West Hull
Leigh Miners Rangers v Oulton Raiders
Wallsend Eagles v GB Police
Drighlington v All Golds (Gloucestershire)
Leigh East v Wigan St Patricks
Distington v Torfaen Tigers
Castleford Lock Lane v Longhorns (Ireland)
Shaw Cross Sharks v Haydock
Ovenden v Woolston Rovers
Hunslet Warriors v Featherstone Lions
York Acorn v Beverley
Normanton Knights v Edinburgh Eagles
Bradford Dudley Hill v Milford Marlins
North Herts Crusaders v RAF
Millom v Red Star Belgrade
Clock Face Miners v Siddal
Hunslet Club Parkside v Thornhill Trojans
Thatto Heath v Stanningley
London Chargers v Wath Brow Hornets.

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