Ryan Jones leaves Ospreys to join Bristol

Ospreys Ryan Jones is tackled by Nothampton's Lee Dickson and Courtney Lawes during the Heineken Cup pool stages Photo: David Davies/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Former Wales and Ospreys captain Ryan Jones has joined the exodus of Welsh internationals from the Pro 12 by signing for English Championship side Bristol.

33 year old Jones, who has won 75 caps for Wales and a further three for the British and Irish Lions, has signed a two year deal at the club.

The Newport-born back-rower has spent a decade with the Ospreys and will reunite with his old regional coach Sean Holley at Bristol next season.

Jones still had 12 months left to run on his Ospreys contract but has decided to move on before the end of his current deal.

The former Celtic Warrior was ruled out of this years Six Nations tournament with a hamstring injury but is expected to play a part in the Ospreys quest for a place in the end of season play-offs in the Pro 12.

I’m delighted to be joining Bristol Rugby.

I’ll be looking to use my experience to help the team and contribute to the success of the club.

I want to test myself at the highest level of the English game, and I'm determined to achieve that as a Bristol Rugby player.

– Ryan Jones
Ryan Jones has ended his ten years with the Ospreys and will sign for Bristol next season Credit: David Davies/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Ryan’s arrival indicates the ambition that Bristol Rugby has and the quality of players we are capable of attracting.

To captain your country a record number of times and to play for the British & Irish Lions is no mean feat – what Ryan has achieved in his career so far is remarkable.

His influence – on and off the field – will be significant for us, both during the play-offs this season and next. Ryan is hungry to help Bristol move forward and drive our progress.

– Andy Robinson, Bristol Director of Rugby

Jones is the third Welsh player to sign for Bristol for next season joining Osprey's team mate Matthew Morgan and Sale scrum half Dwayne Peel.