Gaskell keen to prove his meetle

Lee Gaskell playing in St Helens colours.
Lee Gaskell playing in St Helens colours.

LEE Gaskell will be out to show St Helens what they are missing when they visit Super League basement club Salford tonight.

The 22-year-old utility back began the season as Saints’ first-choice stand-off alongside Jonny Lomax but quickly fell out of favour under coach Nathan Brown and in March joined the Reds on a season-long loan.

Gaskell will tonight come up against his home-town team for the first time and insists there will be no divided loyalty.

“I just want to concentrate on my own game,” he said. “I got sent here on loan so it’s my job to help Salford and not worry about Saints or what’s happening there.

“I’ll concentrate on my rugby and hopefully put in a few good performances and show a few people what they’re missing.

“It’s going to be exciting playing against some of my mates.”

Lomax made the switch to full-back immediately after Brown broke up his half-back pairing and Gaskell also found himself as the last line of defence for Salford’s last match against Wakefield after being switched from centre.

“It was good,” he said. “It was the first time I’d played there at first-team level.

“I’ve still got a lot of learning to do, positional-wise but it’s something I might look at in the future.

“Stand-off is still my preferred position but I’m happy to help out the team.”

Reds coach Brian Noble has axed Australians Liam Foran and Vic Mauro after his side’s 46-10 home defeat by Wakefield and Gaskell admits the surviving players need to make amends.

“We were disappointed with ourselves,” Gaskell added. “We let our fans and the club down. We need to give the fans something to cheer about.”

Hull coach Peter Gentle is challenging his team to put together another winning streak after they suffered only a second defeat in 11 matches last time out.

The Black and Whites will get a chance to avenge their 30-4 hammering by Catalan Dragons when they return to Perpignan for a Challenge Cup-tie next month and Gentle wants them to re-discover their winning formula tonight at Castleford, where Australian scrum-half Jacob Miller is set to make his debut.

“We’ve come to the end of our run but we’re going back to Catalan in four weeks’ time and all the boys want to play in that,” Gentle said. “We’ve to try to start building some combinations.”

Despite being in his post for more than six weeks, tonight’s match will be the first home game for new Castleford coach Daryl Powell.