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 tomorrow's clash with South Africa in Perth, but made it clear the playing group was rallying behind its 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 yesterday.
"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 yesterday, with doubt cast over the availability of hooker Stephen Moore, who suffered a hamstring injury at training.
Alexander admitted the Wallabies had been taught some harsh lessons by the All Blacks this year and said the team was 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.
"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."
Australia have won their past four matches against the Springboks, including last year's controversial 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.
Alexander said external factors would count for little tomorrow, with new South Africa coach Heyneke Meyer introducing a revamped style of play and some new faces.
Meyer has said he's concerned about his side's potential lack of speed in the forwards, as they look to out-power the Wallabies in the middle of the field.
Alexander sees rookie loose forward Marcell Coetzee as a huge threat at the breakdown due to his big motor and high tackle rate.
"They're probably the most physical side in the world ... but I think this is the most mobile pack they've picked in a long time," he said. AAP