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Cruse to leave Saints for Bedford coaching role

Tom Cruse training with Northampton
Tom Cruse (right) hands off team-mate Curtis Langdon during training [Getty Images]

Northampton Saints hooker Tom Cruse will move into coaching with Championship side Bedford Blues when he retires at the end of the season.

The 35-year-old announced his plan to end his playing career last month and will join the Blues as forwards coach.

Cruse, who previously played in the Premiership for London Irish and Wasps, has made 14 appearances for Saints since joining them from Edinburgh in 2023.

But all five appearances this season have been from the bench and he has not played for the first XV since the 36-33 win over Harlequins in November.

"Bedford are a big, traditional club and I’m very fortunate to have this opportunity," Cruse told the Blues website.

“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.”

Northampton play their final regular-season game at home to Bath on Saturday before embarking on the play-offs as they look to win a first title since 2014.

Bedford are currently fourth in the Championship and end their campaign away to Ealing Trailfinders on 25 May.