Criticism of head coach Robbie Deans is hurting every single member of the Wallaby camp according to prop Ben Alexander.
Deans is under intense pressure from the Australian media following back-to-back defeats to his native New Zealand in the opening two rounds of the Rugby Championship.
There are widespread calls for Deans to fall on his sword despite being contracted until after the 2013 Lions tour when the Wallabies will go looking for a repeat of their 2001 success over Britain and Ireland’s elite.
Alexander, who started both games against the All Blacks and will do the same against the Springboks this Saturday, admits it is he and his colleagues rather than their coach who must shoulder the blame, although he insists they pay no attention to speculation surrounding Deans’ future.
“That criticism of Robbie, it hurts us too,” said Alexander.
“Because it's how we played and a reflection of us and how we represented our country, and we didn't do a great job.
“We feel a responsibility for the side not performing… (but) as far as all that speculation goes, it's not a focus of ours.
“Our focus is just on going out, playing well and representing our country with pride.”
The Wallabies host the Boks in Perth determined to get their campaign back on track following a 22-0 hammering in Auckland last time out.
That heavy defeat to the World Champion kiwis was the first time the Wallabies had been niled since the early ‘70s and Alexander knows Saturday is about restoring some pride as well as picking up points.
“We got stood up by the best side in the world,” added Alexander.
“We've copped that on the chin and we've looked back and they exposed us everywhere.
“Now we get a chance to right those wrongs.
“We're very proud Australians and the country deserves a better performance than what they've had to put up with the last few weeks.”