COLIN Kleyweg has spoken of the great honour it is for Red Star Belgrade to get the chance to test themselves against Millom in the first round of this year’s Challenge Cup.

Last month’s draw saw the competition’s newest entrants handed a tie away to the oldest amateur rugby league club in the world, with the Woolybacks able to trace their history back to 1873.

The Cup tie at Devonshire Road takes place on Sunday, January 27 and Red Star managing director Kleyweg is excited by the prospect of the Serbian side travelling to one of the sport’s heartlands to take on a renowned side.

“Red Star Belgrade RLFC are absolutely honoured to play our first-ever Challenge Cup match at the home of the world’s oldest amateur rugby league team, Millom RLFC,” said Kleyweg.

“This opportunity connects us to the heartlands of the game which is where we want to be.

“There are a number of Serbian international players who will be making this trip to Millom and this will be arguably in their top three experiences in international rugby league.”

Among the players set to be in action for Red Star is ball-playing second row Stefan Nedeljkovic, who got two opportunities to train with Super League side Warrington Wolves in 2014 and 2015.

Two of the squad are dual-code internationals as well, while the team brings together people from the different ethnic groups in the region.

Such is the intensity of the rivalry between the Red Star and Partizan sporting organisations in Belgrade that those players who live in areas dominated by Partizan supporters cannot publicly show who they play for.

Yet there will be plenty of supporters tuning into the live stream of the match on the BBC Sport website in just over two weeks’ time and Kleyweg is in no doubt the match with Millom will live long in the memory whatever the result.

“Our team is an amazing mix of players from different locations within the former Yugoslavia, including players from Kosovo, Bosnia and Serbia,” said Kleyweg.

“Some of our players live in neighbourhoods where they can’t openly display that they play sport for Red Star – their neighbourhoods holding allegiance with the black and white side of Belgrade.

“But each of these players and the juniors – boys and girls following them – have an amazing story to tell, and with this match being televised live to the world via the BBC Sport website, we tell our story together.

“And, as per rugby league tradition, we trade stories and a few drinks at the end of the game.”