Wallabies players are taking responsibility for the pressure being heaped on coach Robbie Deans, but insist they won't use speculation surrounding his future as motivation for the remainder of the Rugby Championship.
There are rumblings that Deans' contract may be prematurely ended if the Wallabies continue to struggle in the Championship, after Australia slumped to a 10th straight Bledisloe Cup series defeat with back-to-back losses to the All Blacks.
Prop Ben Alexander denied rumour surrounding Deans' job security would be a factor in Saturday's clash with South Africa in Perth, but made it clear the players are rallying behind their coach.
"That criticism of Robbie, it hurts us too 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," said Alexander on Thursday.
"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 going out, playing well and representing our country with pride."
The challenge of turning around their Rugby Championship fortunes got even tougher for the Wallabies on Thursday, with doubt cast over the availability of hooker Stephen Moore who suffered a hamstring injury at training.
Alexander admitted the Wallabies have been taught some harsh lessons by the All Blacks this year and said the team were determined to give Australian supporters the performance they deserved against the Springboks.
"We got stood up by the best side in the world and we've copped that on the chin and we've looked back and they exposed us everywhere," Alexander said.
"Now we get a chance to right those wrongs."
Australia have won their past four matches against the Springboks, including last year's World Cup quarter-final - however South Africa enjoy a healthy 3-2 advantage (with one draw) from their six games against the Wallabies in Perth.