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Retiring Tom Cruse lands coaching role next season

By Josh Raisey
Tom Cruse of Northampton Saints prepares to throw in the ball during the Gallagher Premiership Rugby match between Northampton Saints and Sale Sharks at Franklin's Gardens on February 18, 2023 in Northampton, England. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Northampton Saints’ retiring hooker Tom Cruse has been named the forwards coach of Championship outfit Bedford Blues for next season.

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The 35-year-old announced his retirement from professional rugby in April after spending just over a year at Franklin’s Gardens, and will swiftly move into the world of coaching full-time.

Cruse already has experience of the Championship having played for Rotherham earlier in his career, and describes himself as a “massive advocate of the Championship”.

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He also has experience of coaching already, serving as forwards coach for Chinnor this season under former England No8 Nick Easter and helping guide them to the Championship next season.

The move will see Cruse link up with his former Wasps teammate Michael Le Bourgeois, who joined the club after Wasps went into administration in 2022. Cruse, meanwhile, joined Edinburgh on a short-term deal before ending up at Northampton Saints.

Fixture
Gallagher Premiership
Bath
43 - 12
Full-time
Northampton
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“Bedford are a big, traditional club and I’m very fortunate to have this opportunity,” Cruse said.

“It’s one I feel very privileged about, there’s a few familiar faces at the club – one of those being Michael Le Bourgeois from my time at Wasps.

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“It’s a really exciting challenge for me as I begin my coaching career, in a league that’s highly competitive. I’m a massive advocate of the Championship, it’s a great place to help talent grow, and I’m eager to put my stamp on things to aid that.

“When I met Mike Rayer [Bedford director of rugby] to talk about coming on board at Bedford, he spoke a lot about development; and that’s not just the players, but the coaches as well.

“This being my first full-time coaching role, it was important to find the right fit. I’ve done a lot of coaching already in my journey, but that was whilst still playing, and it was that chance of development that really stuck out for me.”

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Michael 1 hours ago
All Blacks vs England takeaways: Richie Who? Time for Cortez

Cant deny Christie is a good defender, box kicks well at times, BUT he’s a second too slow passing from the ground. Roigard, Ratima and Hotham will be our 2027 halfbacks I believe DMAC has played reasonably well in both games, so deserves to keep his place - his two breaks at Eden Park should have resulted in tries. Reece was really to blame for the Taylor failure - he stayed too wide, if he had come in a couple of meters the pass from Taylor would have worked. The Perofeta failure was extraordinary, he is normally such a good distributor, failure to draw in Steward was remarkable, failure to look inside was a shocker. Cory Flynn as lineout coach… umm something a miss here. Not sure who is calling the lineouts, but clearly we miss Whitelock’s leadership. Having a disfunctional line out really underminded the AB attack. But let’s remind ourselves Itoje is a master, and their tactics of going for the arms of the jumper on landing and pulling over was brilliant causing Paddy and Scooter to both fumble the balls. I am a Blues supporter so I like Talea, but if you play him on the wrong wing look out. While he’s not the fastest wing, he’s elusive and very industrious always looking for work. However, he’s not the tallest player, and everyone knows his weakness (a) being turned in defence - he’s slow to turn and react and (b) never jumps for high balls is normally out jumped. Personally, I find Recce and Talea too alike - Razor needs to couple them with another complementary partner Clark and Narawa respectively. However, for me the real troubling challenge is our mid-field. I am sorry Barrett & Ioane are a poor combo - either Barrett & Proctor or ALB & Ioane - but having two mid-fielders who are poor distributors is nuts. Jordie had a forgettable game in truth he missed so many tackles, which to be fair is unlike him. But sadly both Barrett and Ioane chose to bash first and rarely distribute cleanly.

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