LAUNCESTON, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 09: Tigers head coach Damien Hardwick speaks to his players during the 2019 JLT Community Series AFL match between the Hawthorn Hawks and the Richmond Tigers at University of Tasmania Stadium on March 09, 2019 in Launceston, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

Former Richmond captain Trent Cotchin has revealed the fiery spray the Tigers players received in Damien Hardwick's final game as senior coach of the club.

Hardwick's time at Punt Road came to an end in May, with the triple premiership coach announcing his shock resignation in the wake of the club's Round 10 loss to Essendon.

The Dreamtime encounter saw the Tigers lose a one-point game after holding a three-goal late into the piece, with the match soon being Hardwick's last in the Richmond coaching box.

While he's since ventured north to coach the Gold Coast Suns ahead of the 2024 season, details of Hardwick's final game leading the Tigers have been unveiled in a News Corp submission by Cotchin in the form of an edited extract from his book From The Heart. 

Cotchin detailed the post-game expletive-riddled spray the playing group received from the 307-game coach, who labelled his side as "putrid" and replaceable.

A "rattled" Hardwick made note of Richmond failing to beat an Essendon outfit viewed as "a bunch of spuds".

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"He was filthy and cutting with his comments to the group and about the opposition. In an angry meeting in the rooms after the game, he referred to us as 'putrid' and said the way some of us had played meant he would just get 'another c--- to replace us'," Cotchin wrote.

"He pointed to the Essendon team that was displayed on the white board and said, 'To be honest with you, I reckon this team is a bunch of spuds, and you aren't even as good as they are'.

"His spray had much more to do with us than his assessment of the Bombers. Upon reflection I'm not even sure he knew what he had said.

"He was quite rattled. I was thinking, 'Well, this is different'."

The Tigers managed a 3-1-6 record under Hardwick in 2023 before his decision to leave the club he joined ahead of the 2010 season.

Assistant coach Andrew McQualter would lead Richmod through the final 13 games of the season to amass a seven-win spell under his watch only to see the full-time role claimed by Melbourne's Adem Yze last month.

McQualter has since left to join the Demons, while Hardwick has been given the keys to help steer the Suns to their first September showing in their history.