It may have taken six seasons, but director of rugby Steve Hill believes he now has the strongest squad he has seen at Richmond.

The Athletic Ground outfit went five points clear at the top of the National Division One table with a 31-17 win at Loughborough Students.

Tries from Chris Davies (two), Seb Adeniran-Olule, Tom Sargeant and Charlie Broughton made it eight wins in succession since a 41-34 defeat at Esher.

Richmond host second-placed Hartpury College on Saturday and head to fifth-placed Rosslyn Park in their final game before the Christmas.

And Hill, who has had to cope with his fair share of injuries during his spell in charge, believes he has the strength in depth that can secure a targeted top four finish this season - and possibly more.

"At times this season there have been three or four players in the second team, who would not let us down," he said.

"Will Brown, who has played virtually every first team game I've been involved with prior to this season, is playing very well in the second team and is desperate for an opportunity to get back in.

"Our strength and conditioning coach has worked really hard with the players and we are beginning to see the benefit of that. We are in better shape.

"It is the strongest squad I have had in the six seasons I have been here.

"We've always said we want to finish in the top four this season and that remains the target if we can keep this form going."

Hill, who spent 14 years as director of rugby at Oxford University, signed an extension to his contract earlier this year and has no plans of leaving any time soon.

"I'm thoroughly enjoying it here and it is a fantastic club to be director of rugby," he added.

"I have players like this to work with and when you have upto 82 people turning up to train every week you can coach them and improve them."