YORK City Knights have signed Warrington Wolves' Italian World Cup player James Saltonstall on loan, potentially for the rest of the season.

The 20-year-old had spent some time with Bradford Bulls, and featured in 19-man squads with Wolves last season without being given the oportunity to make his first-team debut.

He appeared for the West Yorkshire side in each of their three pre-season friendlies.

However, despite putting in encouraging performances, he did not make a full league appearance, with Elliot Kear, Adam Henry and Adrian Purtell ahead of him in the pecking order.

He now drops down to Championship One with a view to getting regular first-team action to push claims for a chance back at Warrington, where he has been a full-time player since the age of 16.

Knights boss Gary Thornton said: "As with all loans, he comes initially for a month, but it is with a view to him staying for the season.

"He went to Bradford when they were struggling but he couldn't quite force his way in when they got players back - he was up against some very good players.

"He's got an opportunity here now. He's very quick and he can defend."

Saltonstall hails from Halifax but qualifies for the Azzurri through his Italian mother and was in the team that shocked England in the famous World Cup warm-up win in October.

York see him as a natural replacement for James Ford, who suffered an injury setback in Sunday's surprise defeat to Oxford, and he goes straight into the squad that travels to Gateshead on Good Friday night.

Thornton said: "I've coached against him (when academy boss at Castleford) and he's highly regarded over at Warrington. The kid's definitely got something."

Saltonstall is a former England academy tourist but switched allegiance to Italy when making his full international debut in July 2013 in a European Shield match against Russia. He was also named man of the match in a 66-30 win over Germany that summer.

He is the latest of a number of Warrington players to be given the chance to develop his game in the Championship.

A stack have been fielded with partner club Swinton Lions on dual registration, while Ryan Shaw is with Barrow and Gavin Bennion with Featherstone Rovers

Wolves also have Danny Bridge on loan at Bradford and Chris Riley in the second month of a spell with Wakefield Trinity Wildcats.