22nd Oct, 2021

RUGBY UNION - Cruse delighted with special appearance landmark

Aaron Sutcliffe 30th Sep, 2021 Updated: 30th Sep, 2021

WASPS hooker Tom Cruse admitted it was “really special” to make his 100th appearance for the club but has challenged his teammates to back up last week’s success against a tough Newcastle Falcons side this coming weekend.

Cruse was the club’s 2017/18 Players’ Player of the Season and has become an integral part of head coach Lee Blackett’s squad since joining from London Irish back in 2016.

Last week’s clash with Bristol Bears brought up Cruse’s 100th Wasps appearance as they ran out convincing 44-8 winners at the Coventry Building Society Arena.

The 32-year-old was given the honour of leading the side out ahead of the match with the Bears and was delighted to be able to celebrate his landmark appearance in front of his family.

Cruse said: “It was nice to lead the team out and to back it up with that performance was really special.

“It was amazing, my mum and dad and brothers were there and my aunty and uncle who hadn’t been to a game yet.

“Having my wife there and running out with the kids was a really special moment.

“It was really special, capped off with a really good win which was the most important thing with a lot of new faces in the team.

“Bristol had a point to prove after getting beat the week before, we put in a pretty decent performance.”

However, Wasps head to Kingston Park this weekend to take on a Newcastle side who have made a strong start to the season after beating Bath last time out.

Despite, playing the game on an artificial surface, Cruse has no complaints about the pitch and stressed the importance of backing up last week’s result.

He added: “They had Harlequins first up and they made it hard for them, it’s a new challenge and a different challenge to Bristol.

“It’s one that we are looking forward to and it’s important that we back up what we did last week.

“It’s an artificial pitch, we’re lucky enough to have one at our new training ground so we can prepare accordingly.

“We’ll do a bit on the grass and a bit on the artificial and we’ll make sure that we’re ready to go.”

Cruse featured for just under an hour in Wasps season opener against Bristol and was delighted with the impact made by his replacement – debutant Dan Frost.

Cruse said: “It’s sad to see boys go but all the new players have added something to the squad, Frosty came off the bench and scored a great try.

“They’ve all added to the group on and off the pitch, it’s nice to freshen things up and it’s great to see them all put the Wasps shirt on for the first time.

“It was frustarting not to play in the first week, we put Bristol under enormous pressure, even when the bench came on we were relentless defensively.

“It was fantastic, it was a gerat day, the challenge now is to back it up and make sure it is not a one off.”

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