St Helens stand-off Lee Gaskell has joined Salford City Reds on loan for the rest of the season, with utility player Stuart Howarth moving in the opposite direction.

The 22-year-old started the first three matches of the season under new coach Nathan Brown but has not featured in Super League since and recently played on a dual registration for Rochdale in the Northern Rail Cup. Gaskell trained with his new Reds team-mates this morning and is set to make his debut against Huddersfield Giants at the Salford City Stadium tomorrow.stHelens_SML

Howarth, 23, was an ever-present at Salford under Phil Veivers last year but, after missing the start of the season through injury, has made just one substitute appearance under interim boss Alan Hunte.

The former Wigan Warriors and Wakefield Trinity Wildcats player is set to go straight into the Saints team for tomorrow’s derby against Wigan at the DW Stadium, instantly providing cover for injured hooker James Roby.

Brown said: “At this stage of his career Lee needs to be playing more regularly and, with chances limited at present, it made sense for him to go out on loan.

“We’re looking forward to watching him develop and I’m sure he will do a good job for Salford.

“Stuart has shown in his time at Salford that he is a capable and experienced player and will prove more than adequate cover for a multitude of positions.salford_SML

“He will be put straight into the Good Friday squad and we are confident he will do well.” Hunte confirmed that Gaskell will go straight into his side to face the table-topping Giants. He said: “Lee is a good player who gives us good options.

“He’s played in a Grand Final for Saints and, while playing in a final doesn’t automatically mean you are a good player, to get into contention for a Grand Final side you have to be of a high standard.

“We are looking forward to working with him.”