Rovers youngster Joe Grayson has joined League Two side Grimsby Town on loan until the end of the season.

The defender penned a long-term contract extension at Rovers in November and will further his development on loan with the Mariners.

Grayson made his senior debut for Rovers in the EFL Cup win over Lincoln City in August and has been on the bench twice more, including Tuesday’s FA Cup third round replay with Newcastle United.

He has captained the Under-23s for much of this season, having becoming a regular under Damien Johnson in the last two years.

Grayson could make his debut in tomorrow’s League Two game with the Mariners’ local rivals Lincoln City, and could come up against another Rovers youngster Scott Wharton.

His loan move to Blundell Park, as well as the likely departure of Paul Downing, could see Wharton return from his spell with Lincoln in which he has made just 13 appearances this season.

Grimsby, currently 15th in League Two, are managed by former Burnley youth coach Michael Jolley who is delighted to have signed up Grayson for the final 19 games.

He told his club’s website: “Joe is a talented young player who we have known about for some time/

“He is versatile to play in several different positions and adds further strength, balance and competition to our squad. We are grateful to Tony Mowbray and Blackburn Rovers for allowing us the opportunity to work with Joe and we hope his experience at Grimsby Town can be a positive one for him and us.”