Ugo Monye believes Steve Borthwick has been made the scapegoat for England's dismal autumn and insists the captain has the full support of his team.
Borthwick's leadership was criticised as England slumped to record defeats by South Africa and New Zealand, after being thumped by Australia. Only victory over a scratch Pacific Islanders side prevented a November whitewash at Twickenham as Martin Johnson endured a demoralising start to his reign as England manager.
"Steve is a great captain. Invariably he's at the forefront of everything we do," said the Harlequins winger, speaking on behalf of Greene King IPA, the Official Beer of England and Harlequins.
Fingers were quickly pointed at Borthwick as the series unravelled but the Saracens lock has been reappointed skipper for the RBS 6 Nations.
Borthwick is viewed in some quarters as captain by default but Monye, who won all four of his caps during the autumn, insists he is respected throughout the squad.
Moyne added: "He takes a huge amount of responsibility on the pitch and works very closely with the coaches.
"People always look for a scapegoat when things go wrong and being captain he was always going to face more criticism than anyone else.
"It was the first time I'd worked under Steve Borthwick and I thought he was excellent, I learnt a lot from him.
"The players' support is never in question. Everyone has a huge amount of respect for the guy, I kid you not."
The depressing autumn has seen England installed as third favourites to win the Six Nations with only perennial wooden spoon rivals Scotland and Italy below them in the eyes of bookmakers.