RYAN Mills left his new-kid image at the door when he headed to Warriors – and having a “more mature” outlook is just fine by him.

The Devon-born centre, 27, has racked up more than 100 appearances since switching from Gloucester in 2014.

Mills emerged having graduated from Hartpury College, featuring 26 times in four years while at Kingsholm, and admitted the rookie tag had proved tricky to get rid of.

But having become one of the elder statesmen at Sixways he has an eye on the next generation, some of whom could feature in tomorrow European Challenge Cup clash at home to Russian outsiders Enisei (Saturday, 3pm).

“I have enjoyed taking on a more mature role than I did at Gloucester,” said Mills, whose current deal ties him to Worcester until the summer of 2021.

“When you come through an academy at a place, it is hard to shake the young-guy role. You’re always viewed that way because you have been there from the age of 15, 16 or 17.

“When you move on you get seen through a fresh set of eyes and I have quite enjoyed trying to help other people around me.

“It is all the small stuff, particularly with the academy boys, helping on the training pitch, talking through stuff and seeing them develop and put those things into their play.

“Seeing them put on good performances is quite enjoyable for a number of the older boys now, we see that as out role more and more as well as performing ourselves.

“For us to get a rest and stay fresh we need them to be able to play as well and they have done really well when they have come in.”

It is a seasoned outlook that means Mills no longer worries about sitting out such matches.

“When you have had 15 operations, you stop thinking ‘I have to play, I have to play’,” he added.

“You do grow up because you think you are indestructible. You want to play every week and train every session and you don’t like people looking after you, telling you to rest.

“You think you won’t break and that you can do it for 10 or 15 years. It comes to a point where you stop and think ‘actually, probably not’.

“My outlook on the whole load management has changed quite a lot since I was younger.”