RYAN Mills has a smile on his face and an extra spring in his step these days.

Not only is he back playing in the position he loves but has also got rid of the strapping which left him feeling like he had “one leg shorter than the other”.

Since his late teens Mills has gone through the pre-match routine of slapping three rolls of tape around his troublesome right knee for extra support.

But with director of rugby Gary Gold no longer needing him to kick at goal the 25-year-old has been given the licence to focus on working his magic in midfield.

And he reckoned something “drastic” would need to happen for the situation to change as he enjoys life at inside centre.

“Since I was 18 or 19 I have worn the strapping,” Mills said.

“It is just for kicking and now I am playing 12 and we have got two or three other goal kickers in the squad I don’t need to.

“And there will have to be something drastic to happen for me to need to kick at goal.

“I am comfort playing without it and unless I am needed to goal kick I won’t wear it.

“I love just running around playing rugby and not having to worry about playing with one leg shorter than the other.”

Mills has notched 168 points in 63 appearances since joining from local rivals Gloucester in 2014 and kicked Warriors to safety last season.

But the ex-England under 20s ace is happy to have dropped below fly-half Jono Lance and full-back Chris Pennell in the kicking pecking order.

After recovering from two operations and a quad injury, Mills is also delighted to be back on the field and working alongside Lance and outside centre Jackson Willison.

“Obviously I have got Jono playing inside me which is lovely,” he said.

“He is playing great for us and has been fantastic since he has come over.

“He has got a load of experience and is helping out the younger boys as well, like Sammy Olver and Jamie Shillcock with their game management which will be great for them long term.

“But he has made a great impact and it’s nice to play in the centre with Jacko as well.

“Jacko has got a great rugby brain and there are no many people who work harder than him.

“With myself, Jono and Jacko on the pitch you can see with the way we have been moving the ball around in the last few weeks it makes a massive difference to have two or three ball players who can step up and play as first distributor when one of us or two or us get tackled.

“It makes a huge difference to the way we play.

“It stops the breakdown in the attack and keeps our attack flowing nicely.”