WORCESTER Warriors' head coach Jonathan Thomas has jumped to the defence of his centre Ollie Lawrence after England head coach Eddie Jones' criticism of the 21-year-old.

In his latest book Leadership, Jones questioned Lawrence's attitude, saying he "wasn't hungry enough".

"He’s still a kid, only 21, but the way that some of the media raves about him you would think he’s already assured of becoming one of the best players in the world," said the Australian.

"He might do that, one day, but his attitude was not hungry or disciplined enough."

The suggestion that his attitude and/or work ethic was not up to Jones' standards was something that Warriors' head coach Jonathan Thomas was keen to address.

"Well, I cannot comment on Eddie's book as I haven't read it," he said.

"But all I can do is comment on the Ollie Lawrence I know.

"Ever since I have come to Worcester, Ollie has been in the England squad and what I have seen is someone who is is incredibly passionate to play for Worcester; he has even played through injury (vs Sale in November's 27-14 win) at times.

"He had a grade two calf injury and was knocking on my door asking to play and what we must not forget is that Ollie is a young man - none of us are the finished article at 21."

The Worcester academy product has risen to the top in relatively quick fashion since his senior debut for Warriors back in 2017.

He has become the main man in the midfield in the last two years and he has now been capped seven times by Jones for England, but was left out of the squad for the Autumn Nations Series last month.

And Thomas believes that whilst Lawrence is still developing, he is already showing a high level of maturity.

"Going into England camps has been really good for him," he added.

"What I know about Ollie is that when he comes back from the camps, he takes his game to another level.

"He comes back and leads by example and all the sort of things that don't require talent, they have gone to another level since being away with England.

"I have seen him mature as a person and we have added him to our leadership group as a result and I see a young man with lots of talent and he adds a lot of value here and we are happy to have him with us."