Rhondda Outlaws have made their longest-ever trip in leaving Valleys for the first Challenge Cup tie in their history, against Barrow Island.

The Welsh champions travelled up to Barrow yesterday and will be staying overnight after this afternoon’s first round clash at Rating Lane, which kicks off at 1:30pm, before they make the long journey back down tomorrow.

However, they are not feeling fazed about facing National Conference League opposition and although almost the entire squad are union lads, they won the Welsh title last season, albeit with only five teams competing.

Coach James Allen, who will be a travelling reserve, said: “The whole area down here is buzzing with excitement, the majority of the lads have never played a Challenge Cup game prior to this.

“They know very little about rugby league up north, so it is another challenge for them.

“I have played in the Cup before myself with Valley Cougars against the likes of the Army and the Navy. One or two of the lads are staying put and playing in a Cup tie with their union clubs.

“We will have at least 30 supporters coming with us - that’s a first as we don’t normally have any while playing locally. I am amazed at the interest down here and I’ve had interviews locally and also with the RFL.

“It is going to be a great experience for all of us at the Outlaws and we are all looking forward to the game.

“I see Barrow Raiders had two or three Island players in their side last week and hopefully they’ll keep them this week!

"We only play around ten games in a season but I believe the RFL are working hard to raise more teams.”

The oldest and youngest players in the Outlaws’ team will be father and son Wayne and Tom Harrison, who are 39 and 18 years old, respectively.

Their line-up is as follows: Rhodri Garland, Tom Harrison, Tom Hale, Tyler Wasley, Will Walsh, Kev James (vice captain) Mike Herbert, Shaun Watton, Chris Harris (captain), Andy Prouse, Taine Hendy, Tony Griffiths, Leun Griffiths.

Interchange: Wayne Harrison, Adam Parry, Jarrad Jones, Adam Jones.

Travelling reserves: James Allen, Steve Bartlett, Gareth Keirle.