Cooper Cronk has launched an impassioned plea of support for Sydney Roosters skipper Jake Friend after he was jeered by his team's fans last week.
Friend was booed by Roosters fans during last week's loss to South Sydney, while Tri-colours supporters also chanted bench hooker Victor Radley's name late in the game.
It comes after coach Trent Robinson also defended Friend earlier in the year, after what he claimed had been unfair criticism of the workhorse dummy-half.
Cronk became the latest player to leap to the defence of the former Queensland 19th man on Monday night.
"The one thing I will say about Jake Friend and (co-captain) Boyd Cordner - those guys have the absolute respect of the playing group," Cronk told The Big League Wrap on Fox League.
"Jake Friend puts his head in places I wouldn't put my feet. His determination to be as good as he possibly can be for his teammates is beyond what I thought it was before arriving.
"He is a phenomenal leader of our football team, and he is phenomenal when doing his strengths for 80 minutes."
The Roosters were well below their best in the loss to Souths, but still sit sixth despite their inconsistent start to the the season at three and three.
Friend endured a difficult night, capped off by a poor option out of dummy-half where he took a kick down the blindside that resulted in a seven-tackle set for the Rabbitohs.
However, he is considered an ideal hooker for Cronk and Keary given his reliable and straightforward service out of dummy-half.
"While he might not have the creativity or flair of other dummy-halves in the game, he does his strengths really well," Cronk said.
"What he should do is focus on the two or three things he brings to a football team and just ram it home.
"He doesn't need to be doing trick plays out the back, we've got enough talent for that."