Richmond director of rugby Steve Hill has urged centre Martin Freeman to help lead his side to National League One safety.
The former Worcester Warrior’s first half try set his side on its way to a crucial 25-10 over Henley at the Athletic Ground on Saturday, with Rob Alexander and William Browne crossing in the second half to make the game safe.
It was one of Richmond’s best displays of a tricky campaign that sees them two points clear of the relegation zone.
Richmond, ravaged by injury earlier in the season, have now won two of their past three games in the league, but the run-in to survival seems set to go down to the wire.
And 50-year-old Hill, whose side lost four of their opening five league games, reckoned Freeman – who has featured for Newbury Blues and Southend in the past – would have an important part to play over the final nine games of the campaign.
“Martin is one of our best players,” said Hill.
“His pace and physicality will go a long way towards collecting points, while his leadership skills are an inspiration to the whole team.
“The result couldn’t have come at a more crucial time.
“We have been lacking belief of late, and this win has showed the boys that we are capable of anything if we put our minds to it.
“Alongside being physical you need to be mentally strong. This win proves our players have both attributes.
“We are playing catch up. We’ve been extremely unfortunate with injuries, which have left us with a weakened squad.
“When we are all fit, we have one of the best squads in the league.
“We have enough quality to win every one of our last nine fixtures.”