Steve Hansen has questioned Michael Cheika's emotional control, labelling the Wallabies coach "Mickey Mouse".
According to Stuff, Hansen made the comment at a Circa Theatre fundraiser on Monday night, while being interviewed by former television personality Ian Fraser.
Fraser was commenting on former Wallabies star Mark Ella's tongue-in-cheek jibe that "Mickey Mouse could coach the All Blacks to victory".
Hansen's rebuttal was typically witty.
"They've got Mickey Mouse coaching Aussie," Hansen quipped, according to Stuff.
He quickly gave ground to his comment.
"Michael Cheika, who by the way isn't a bad bloke, he just gets a bit emotional and as you well know, we thought we'd get him emotional and take his mind off the job.
"I think he's got a good side, he does a good job of the coaching, but sometimes he just lets himself down."
Australian rugby is in the pits, after a record nine losses in 13 games last year - the Wallabies' worst success rate since 1958.
Attack coach Stephen Larkham was sacked on Monday, seemingly the scapegoat for poor results.