Richmond director of rugby Steve Hill has backed full back Rob Kirby to keep his side in the hunt for a National Division One top four finish.

The former Southend and Esher star has roared back to form after being dropped for the 48-24 defeat at Coventry last month and landed the crucial kicks late on in a 24-22 win over Loughborough Students two weeks ago.

There was less good news last weekend when Richmond went down 13-10 at struggling Old Albanian, although Kirby added five more points to his growing tally.

The 23-year-old passed the 100 points mark earlier this term and Hill, who wants to better last term’s seventh place finish, believes his form can keep his men among the division’s elite.

“Rob got dropped for one game, but he dusted himself off and has really come back to form,” he said.

“It has got to the point where only his kicking was keeping him in the team, but since coming back he has been an attacking threat with the ball in hand and is playing well.

“I was never a kicker myself and always admired the people who could get the ball through the posts.

“If you are going to finish in the top third of the table you need a kicker of Rob’s quality so long may his form continue.”

Richmond host Blaydon this afternoon (Saturday).