Richmond has announced the return of Ben Rutten, with the sacked Bombers coach set to resume his status as an assistant to head coach Damien Hardwick following four seasons at Tullamarine.

Across his opening stretch working beneath the triple premiership steward, Rutten had been tasked with leading the Tigers' defensive unit and enjoyed premiership success in 2017 ahead of his eventual departure 12 months later.

Speaking in the wake of his return to Punt Road, Rutten stressed that although time and professions had passed, many familiar faces could be found within Richmond's ranks.

“Richmond is a great Club, and I am still very familiar with a majority of the playing list and staff which makes me excited about 2023 already,” the 39-year-old said within a prepared statement.

“I am looking forward to this fresh opportunity and the challenge of helping the Club return to the top of the ladder.”

Tigers GM of football performance Tim Livingstone hailed Rutten's credentials upon welcoming the defender back into the fold.

“Ben is a terrific coach that is highly respected by many of our players that have already worked with him,” he said.

“We look forward to bringing his expertise back into our Club and are excited about the benefit it will bring our playing group and broader football department.”

"We are all thrilled to have Ben along with his wife Kylie and boys Jack and Bernie back as part of the Richmond Football Club."

Rutten held the reins at Essendon for just 43 games over two seasons, compiling a 17-36 record before being shown the door at the cessation of the club's 2022 campaign.

The Tullamarine side is still operating a coaching selection process, with former chief and Brownlow medallist James Hird amongst those vying for the Dons' top job.