RICHMOND assistant coach Ben Rutten will leave the Tigers at the end of the 2018 season to join the coaching department at Essendon.

Rutten, who played 229 games for Adelaide between 2003-14, has been at Richmond since the end of 2014.

Richmond general manager of football Neil Balme said Rutten had made a "wonderful contribution" to the club.

"It's unfortunate that he will leave Richmond at the end of our season," Balme added.

"He has built great relationships with both coaches and players, and played an important role in our premiership success last year.   

"We're thankful that Ben has let us know his intentions for the future, and he is focused and committed to his role at Richmond for the remainder of our season."

In confirming Rutten's move, Essendon general manager of football Dan Richardson said: "We are respectful that Ben's focus is on Richmond's upcoming finals campaign and as a result we will provide a further update once these commitments are complete."