FULL-BACK Ben Howard looks set to pursue a career in sevens after being released by Worcester Warriors to play for England.

Director of rugby Alan Solomons revealed he had let Howard go “some time ago”, admitting he “did not want to stand in his way”.

The 25-year-old back came through the academy at Worcester and notched 16 tries in 64 appearances for the club.

But his chances have been limited this season as he has featured just six times and had a spell on loan at National One outfit Birmingham Moseley.

Howard got his first taste of sevens action on the international stage in September when he represented in England at the inaugural DHL Oktoberfest Sevens.

He was also part of the team that travelled to Dubai for the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in December.

Although he failed to gain selection for this week’s Commonwealth Games in Australia Howard is training with the squad who will play in Hong Kong and Singapore this month.

Solomons said: “Ben is with England sevens and we released him some time ago.

“It’s a real opportunity for him and we didn’t want to stand in his way.

“Bryce Heem’s career started with New Zealand sevens and he went from there to the Chiefs and from there to here.

“It’s Ben’s choice as to what he wants to do.

“If he wants to pursue sevens there is an opportunity for him at the moment and he has gone there with our blessing, obviously.”

Howard made his Premiership debut against Leicester Tigers in September 2012 and went on to make 15 further appearances while still part of Warriors’ academy.

In 2013, he guided England U20s to Six Nations and Junior World Championship glory before making his biggest impact for his club in the 2014-15 campaign.

Howard played a key role in helping Worcester secure promotion from the Championship and was named supporters’ player of the year.

However, with Sixways stalwart Chris Pennell ahead of him Howard struggled to nail down the number 15 jersey.

Howard’s contract is due to finish at the end of the season and his last appearance came in Warriors’ 33-27 defeat at Dragons in February.

Asked whether the door was open for Howard to return to the club, Solomons said: “When our recruitment has been completed we will deal with the final squad as to what it looks like and those that are leaving.”

Centre Max Stelling whose deal expires in the summer also may have played his final match for the club.

The 24-year-old has crossed the whitewash 30 times in 58 games since scoring a six-minute hat-trick on his first-team debut against Bizkaia Gernika in October 2012.

But he has been hampered by injuries this term and has subsequently fallen down the pecking order.

“Max is still carry an (ankle) injury so he has not been able to practise and play,” Solomons added.

“It’s unlikely he is going to play for the rest of the season.”