Time to 'blow off a few cobwebs' as Saints travel to Bedford for pre-season opener
and live on Freeview channel 276
Phil Dowson's men go to Goldington Road for a traditional tussle with the Blues.
It will be the first of two pre-season games - Saints host the Barbarians a week later - before the new campaign kicks off with a televised Premiership Rugby Cup match at Ealing Trailfinders on September 10.
And hooker Cruse said: "I had a good break and we're into quite a long pre-season so there's been a lot of hard work that has gone into it.
"I'm very happy to get back into a game this weekend.
"It's nice to have a pre-season week that's got a game on the end of it because training's great and it serves a purpose, but that purpose is a game so it's great to have that.
"Hopefully we can put things into practice that we've been working on, get that first runout, blow off a few cobwebs and play with a smile on our face with no pressure."
Cruse signed a contract extension at Saints in June, having impressed after joining on a short-term deal midway through last season.
"Having five weeks off in the off-season gives you time to reflect and it's actually been a really energising time for me," said the 34-year-old.
"Coming into a fresh environment with new coaches, new lads, I feel energised.
"I'm really enjoying my rugby, the group and the club.
"As soon as an extension was put on the table, I was really keen to get it signed. Knowing I'm going to be a Saint all year allows me to set some goals and get stuck in.
"I feel settled in now.
"It's difficult at first, coming in and seeing a load of new faces, so it did take a while to allow my personality to come out, but I've been here six or seven months now and I feel completely at home.
"I'm hoping I can have a positive impact on the club."