Ian Evans: Bristol sign Wales and Ospreys lock for next season

Wales and Ospreys lock Ian Evans has joined Championship side Bristol.

The British and Irish Lions second row, capped 33 times by his country, had initially agreed to move to Toulon this summer but the deal collapsed.

The 29-year-old will now follow Ospreys and Wales team-mates Ryan Jones and Matthew Morgan to the West County.

Evans becomes Bristol's 15th signing for next season and is one of seven international players to join last term's losing play-off finalists.

"These sort of fellas don't grow on trees. He's a physical specimen," coach Sean Holley told BBC Radio Bristol.

"Worcester, our rivals in the Championship, were in for him as well. That shows the quality of the player.

"We're building a strong squad, combining a core of young Bristol players with some experienced internationals. And they want to be part of something special."

Evans has played 129 games in nine seasons at Ospreys and toured Australia with the Lions squad last summer.

He was forced to miss this year's Six Nations Championship after being handed a 12-week ban for stamping in the Heineken Cup game between Ospreys and Leinster.

Evans was a replacement in Wales' first summer Test against South Africa but was dropped for the second game against the Springboks on Saturday.

"I know a number of the players at the club and they were very positive about the direction that Bristol is going," he said.

"It was a straightforward decision for me. It's great to be part of one the most exciting projects in English rugby."