Richmond director of rugby Steve Hill reckons keeping a smile on the faces of his men is key to continued success at the Athletic Ground.

Hill penned a new three-year deal with the club this week after watching his men lose their 100 per cent winning start to the National Divsion One season with a 26-16 defeat to league leaders and title favourites Ealing Trailfinders on Saturday.

The former Oxford University director of rugby has overseen a sustained period of progress during his spell in charge, having led Richmond into the third tier of English rugby via the Division Two South promotion play-offs in 2012.

And Hill is looking forward to more.

“I am delighted my involvement with Richmond will continue well into the future because it is an outstanding rugby club," he said.

"In my four years here the first team have improved their league position each season and that remains our ambition for this year.

"Just as important is we are regularly fielding six senior men’s teams with numbers attending training consistently high.

"Players take their rugby seriously but also have to balance busy work and social lives. The key to continued success will be to maintain that balance and ensure we all enjoy what we are doing.”

Chairman Peter Moore added: “This shows our commitment to Steve and his commitment to us, and in the larger picture it is part of our ongoing efforts to maintain Richmond as one of the best full service rugby clubs in the country.

"We are currently discussing various new directions open to us as a club, but ultimately what happens on the pitch sets the scene for everything else, and that’s where Steve has proved in valuable, fully supporting our shared club ethos.”

Richmond travel to Coventry on Saturday.