Richard Wigglesworth has responded to Will Carling's criticism of England by questioning the former captain's grasp of modern rugby.
Carling reacted to Saturday's 28-25 defeat against Wales by accusing head coach Stuart Lancaster of creating a "classroom-oriented environment" and treating the players as "schoolboys".
England must topple Australia at Twickenham on Saturday if they are to save their World Cup and Carling's comments have been greeted with a mixture of anger and disappointment by the squad.
"We knew it could be like this, but he doesn't know, he hasn't played the game for so long and hasn't been involved in professional rugby for so long," scrum-half Wigglesworth said.
"Let's have a meaningful discussion about his knowledge. He is there to further his own career, good luck to him."
Wigglesworth has taken exception to criticism of England's lack of leadership, though would not identify who he was referring to.
"Certain people who have come out and said things should know better and it seems that no one has ever made a mistake," he said.
"They are entitled to do that and are progressing their own careers and I have no interest in anything they have to say. They are not living it."
Carling responded to Wigglesworth via a short video clip posted on his Twitter account.
"Some coaches feel that if you criticise you're not a supporter, but I don't believe that," Carling said.
"I don't believe going 'rah rah' England means you're a great England supporter. The players and coaches have to be honest with each other."
England begin the countdown to the defining match of Stuart Lancaster's reign amid accusations by former captain Will Carling that their head coach has created a "classroom orientated environment" among players treated as "schoolboys".