RED-HOT wing Tom Howe says he no longer feels like he is playing with a monkey on his back after earning a new contract at Worcester Warriors.

Howe has been a potent finisher for Warriors this season, scoring regularly in the European Challenge Cup, Premiership Cup and Premiership Shield.

But the 23-year-old’s future at Warriors looked uncertain until two weeks ago when he signed a new one-year deal.

Howe then marked his maiden Gallagher Premiership appearance this term with a late score in the 47-33 defeat at Harlequins before bagging the match-winning try in the last-gasp 17-13 victory over Leicester Tigers at Sixways last Sunday.

“(Signing that contract) was a bit of a monkey off my back and now I can play my game knowing I will be here next year,” Howe said.

“I can play with no pressure on me.

"The main focus for me now is trying to get that Premiership game-time rather than trying to sign the contract.

“It is a big relief.”

Asked whether he feared a contract would not come his way, Howe said: “You always back yourself quietly.

“But you do have (doubts) in the back of your mind. If you have not signed it yet then you never know when it will come.

“I just focused on playing my game, getting over the whitewash and trying to do my thing.

“I felt that game-time and my performances would speak for themselves and hopefully I have shown that.

“I have got two kids as well so it gives us another year in Cheltenham with my family which is brilliant.”

With Wales star Josh Adams away on Six Nations duty, Howe was handed a starting shirt in the Premiership for only the second time since joining Warriors in 2017.

And the former Wasps academy ace stepped up to the plate as he crossed the whitewash in the dying seconds to increase his tally to nine tries in nine first-team games.

“That try was massive for me,” Howe said.

“I needed a bit of confidence having not had too many Premiership games under my belt.

“Hopefully I can get a few more now.”

On having Bryce Heem and Josh Adams in front of him in the pecking order, Howe added: “It is frustrating.

“But I am really good mates with both of them.

“You will have good wingers in any Premiership club so when opportunities come your way you have got to take them.”