David Pocock was dismayed by the 'pot shot' taken by former Wallabies five-eighth Quade Cooper after he publicly criticised outgoing national coach Michael Cheika for not stepping down earlier.
Cheika has been the subject of heavy criticism following the Wallabies' lacklustre World Cup campaign, with its captain Michael Hooper refusing to give "any air" to Cooper's social media dig.
Cheika said he would not seek reappointment beyond the end of 2019, opening the door for a new era of Australian rugby.
Cooper has been one of many high-profile critics who have taken a parting shot at Cheika, taking to Twitter on Sunday to share his thoughts.
"If he actually cared about Aus rugby he would have done it a while ago," Cooper wrote in a response to former English rugby player Ugo Monye.
"I'm not giving them any air, mate," a frustrated Wallabies captain said of the comments.
But Pocock - who has known Cooper since their days at famous Brisbane rugby nursery Anglican Church Grammar School - was more forthcoming with his views on Cooper's public position.
He was "disappointed" to see Cooper air his dirty laundry via Twitter in the immediate aftermath of Cheika's resignation.
"As players I think we always find it disappointing when people on the outside are taking pot shots," Pocock said. "There is a huge amount of work that's gone in and Cheik is the kind of guy who goes into bat for his players behind the scenes.
"He is always wanting guys to just focus on their rugby and you can't please everyone. Everyone has different opinions.
"I have a huge amount of time for Quade. We go way back. But people are going to say what they want, especially when you fall short like we did.
"There is no excuses. We prepare well. We just weren't good enough on the night."
Will Genia will link up with Cooper at Japanese club Kintetsu Liners next season and while the veteran halfback didn't name names, he also went into bat for Cheika upon his return to Brisbane Airport on Tuesday.
"It's pretty brutal in that sense. More than anything, I'm disappointed in a lot of people kicking him when he's down," Genia said. "The guy served for five years and he was obviously good at his job to keep it that long.
"I feel he deserved an opportunity to be celebrated as much as the players who were finishing like Poey [Pocock], Keps [Sekope Kepu] and I."
Hooper didn't have a single bad word to say about Cheika, who made him captain of both the Waratahs and Wallabies.
Cheika also stood by the flanker through repeated calls to change the dynamic of the Australian back row by shifting Hooper to the bench and allowing Pocock to start at openside flanker.
"Cheik's been amazing. I owe that man a lot," Hooper said. "The passion that he represented us for, he stood up for us all the time and just genuinely wanted the best for Australian rugby.
"Not just for him, not just for the team, selfishly, being the coach of the team - he just wanted the best for Australian rugby after he's long gone.
"He wanted to leave something positive and he will, certainly with me.
"[But] we want Australian rugby to be strong and be great and we haven't been able to do that unfortunately.
"There is a lot of young, talented guys and very hungry guys who want to be part of that change that has to be made and that's exciting.
"Guys are sick of where it's at."