A LOT has changed for Kai Owen in the past two years.

Back in 2017, dreams of pulling on a Worcester Warriors shirt, let alone an England jersey, appeared to be over.

The prop was released after finishing with the under 18s and was left questioning what his next step would be.

He was in the process of completing an outdoor education BTEC Course at Telford College and found himself doing labouring jobs to earn a bit of money.

But three months after being let go by Warriors, Owen who was living with his brother in Telford, received a phone call that changed his life.

“When I was released, I didn’t really know what my next step would be,” Owen said.

“But I just used it as a kick up the backside to go again, keep training in the gym and do my own running between studying at college. Then I got the call up to play in the A League when I was in the gym one day. I can’t describe what I was feeling at that point. It was amazing.

“Of course, I said yes so I went over there, came off the bench and made my debut (for Worcester Cavaliers).”

Owen went on to become a regular in the Cavaliers side that season before earning a senior academy contract ahead of the 2017-18 campaign.

“It was definitely a big blow to be released,” Owen said.

“But it was eye-opening to see that if they do get let you go, you are not fully out of their sights so you can get called back up. You just have to keep training.”

Owen’s work-ethic has impressed Warriors’ coaches, who handed him his first senior appearance in the European Challenge Cup last October when they faced Stade Francais in Paris.

But it has been his involvement with the national set-up that has had an even greater effect on the promising front-rower.

Owen made his England age-grade debut in the U20 Six Nations in February.

“Going into the international environment full-time changed me as a player,” Owen said.

“It made me look at the game from a different perspective as I got to see how to approach a game, both before and after a match and just improve my skills as a player.

“I absolutely love doing rugby as a job.

“It has always been my dream and I have seen my skills develop so much.

“You have got so many mentors around you that you can go and talk to at any time and the coaches and players are top as well.”

Owen also capped his first World Rugby U20 Championship start with a thrilling victory over Italy this summer.

The tournament in Argentina did not go to plan for England as they finished fifth, but Owen enjoyed the experience.

“It was different, but I settled into it,” said Owen on facing Italy.

“Credit to Italy as they brought physical power to the game, but we just stepped up and managed to defeat them which was good.

“It was frustrating (not to progress to the semi-finals) but the boys held together quite well, we kept the morale high and played with pride.”

Owen is aiming to kick on next season as he prepares to join up with his Warriors team-mates for pre-season.

But he is also willing to take a step back and realise how far he has come.

“When I look back at my achievements so far, I am proud of myself,” Owen added.

“I do feel I have proved a point.

“Not to anyone else but to myself that you can come a long way in such a short time if you put the hard work in.”