Richmond director of rugby Steve Hill could not be happier with life at the Athletic Ground after watching his side shock former Championship outfit Esher on Saturday.

Tries from James Green wood, JP Attlee and Jason Phipps put a spanner in the National Division One title chasers’ works to give Hill’s men a 23-19 triumph and hand them the chance to turn the year in the top half of the table.

“If you had given me ninth in the table now at the start of the season, I’d have bitten your hand off,” said Hill.

“This is a  very tough league and every week there are strange results that prove there are no easy teams.

“The second half of the season is going to be very tough, but this result will give us a lot of confidence. From an outsider’s point of view, no one gave us a hope.”

The reason for Hill’s delight is the strength in depth his squad is developing to cope with injuries to the likes of fly half Luke Cousins, who will be missing for at least a month after dislocating his shoulder.

“We need to kick on from this result now,” said Hill ahead of tomorrow’s visit of in-form Old Albanians.

“Playing 30-odd league games is difficult, so you need a squad that has great  strength in depth, which we are starting to achieve.

“With that in mind it was great to see Tom Sargeant and Steve Wood play so well having been playing second and third team rugby since September.”