Ned Hanigan has a simple message for punters who have anointed him as the Wallabies' new whipping boy: "Keep it coming."
The 22-year-old Coonamble product is adjusting to the harsh scrutiny of the Test spotlight and admits some of his critics might have a point after an admittedly poor performance against South Africa in Perth earlier this month.
He is battling to keep his place in the team after coach Michael Cheika last week foreshadowed a possible change at blindside flanker for Sunday's (AEST) rematch with the Springboks in Bloemfontein, with the likes of Lukhan Tui, Lopeti Timani and Jack Dempsey knocking on the door.
Hanigan was disappointed in his effort against South Africa and was surprised when he was retained for Australia's last Rugby Championship outing against Argentina.
"I knew that I didn't perform in Perth," Hanigan told AAP.
"I just didn't feel like I had a game that I'm capable of.
"You're always pretty hard on yourself at this sort of level and I think particularly in that game, I just missed a few cleanouts and things I think I'd like others (would) say I'm not too bad at."
After that game, Hanigan noticed his knockers "revved right up."
"It was sort of deserved, I suppose. You don't look at it too much," he said.
"People are entitled to their opinions and to be honest, (with) the strength of the team's inner circle, it doesn't really matter. Keep it coming. If you need a bit of external motivation, there it is."
Hanigan said all he wanted to do was repay the huge faith shown in him by Cheika, who has persisted with the unheralded country rookie.
"I guess it's something you try not to let down, is the best way to put it," he said.
"You know he's put that faith in you so that Perth game - not performing, as well as individually feeling craphouse, you know you've let your mates, your head coach, your forwards coach down.
"You know you've let your family and friends down. It just keeps going.
"It drives you to just make sure that everything you do on and off the field is to the best of your ability."