Director of rugby Geoff Richards will leave Richmond at the end of the season having decided not to renew his two-year contract with the club.

The former Grand Slam winning England women head coach had said his future depended on the Athletic Ground outfit’s Board backing his plans for next season at a meeting last week.

The news comes after the club announced Bruce Freer is to succeed Andrew Gordon as managing director of Richmond Football Club Ltd at the end of the season.

“Geoff has been instrumental in consolidating the club in the heart of the National Leagues since his arrival in 2008 and now wants to find other challenges within the world of rugby,” said chairman David Corben in a statement on the club’s website.

“RFCL would like to thank Geoff for all that he has done at the club and wishes him well for the future. A search is now underway to find a successor.”

Barking proved their National Division Two South title credentials in coming from 10-7 down to beat Richards’ Richmond 35-10 at the weekend.

Nick Moore’s try-of-the-season contender for the hosts had seen the half-time scores level at 7-7, before the visitors cut loose after the break to go 11 points clear at the top of the table.

Richmond’s final three games: Apr 17 Canterbury (a), 24 Dings Crusaders (h).