Paddy Ryan says it is "sad" to see Australian rugby in the state it is in, but he is confident the sport will rebound.
The Tamworth-born former Wallaby - back in Sydney after self-isolating in his childhood hometown - has "a lot of concerns" about rugby's current shabby condition. That includes the very public nature of the sport's unravelling
He said: "I think playing things out in front of the media in order to sell newspapers or get your agenda across isn't the right way we should be conducting ourselves. I hope that stops."
Rugby Australia is broke, it has no broadcast partner, the Wallabies are seventh in the world, Super Rugby has lost its sheen, the Covid-19 pandemic has worsened RA's financial crisis - with uncertainty about future revenues - and Raelene Castle quit as the organisation's chief executive last month - saying the board did not support her. The dire situation has resulted in some of the game's biggest names openly pillorying RA.
Ryan is closely following rugby's travails.
"It's an interesting time," he said. "It is sad. It's sad to look at ... [But] whilst we haven't had the results that we may have loved the last couple of years, they're still a team full of great blokes, some good players."
He added: "There's a lot of great people I know in rugby ... and [they] should be supported by the game, and should support the game. I hope that we can get back on the right track."
Sixty per cent of player salaries has been secured until September.
Ryan said: "I know the president of the players association, Damien Fitzpatrick, really well ... And he's the guy I would want conducting the current negotiations from a players standpoint ... I really hope that we get the best result we can hope for in this time."
Ryan, who played three Tests for the Wallabies and 106 games for the Waratah, believes it is important to stay positive. He likes the attitude of Brumbies forwards coach Laurie Fisher.
"He said we will get through this because there's good people in this game, and there's good people all across Australian rugby. And so we know that we will come out of the other side in some capacity. We just want to make sure we stay as positive as we can and don't get stuck into each other - we don't need to."
Ryan played his last game for the Waratahs in 2017. He returned to Sydney in March, with his second stint in Japan's Top League abruptly ending because of the pandemic. He has also played in America's fledgling Major League Rugby.