Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 16 September 2014

Bristol snap up Evans

Wales lock Ian Evans, who is to join Bristol from the Ospreys

Championship club Bristol have announced the signing of Wales international lock Ian Evans.

Evans, who has won 33 caps and toured Australia with the British and Irish Lions last summer, will join Bristol from the Ospreys.

The 29-year-old appeared to have sealed a deal with reigning European champions Toulon last season, but that move fell through.

And Bristol, after missing out on promotion to the Aviva Premiership three weeks ago, have shown further intent of their top-flight aspirations by adding Evans to a list of new recruits that also includes his fellow Wales internationals Ryan Jones and Dwayne Peel.

"Ian is a tough, physical second-row and he will be a valuable addition to our pack ahead of the new season," Bristol rugby director Andy Robinson told the club's official website.

"He's a quality lineout operator and shows the attitude that you would expect from a top-class international player.

"He will complement our young locks and play an important role in developing them."

Evans, who had also been linked with English Premiership clubs, was part of the Wales squad that has just completed a three-match South Africa tour.

And he becomes the latest top Wales player to join a club outside the Principality, following the likes of Jamie Roberts, Mike Phillips, Dan Lydiate, Jonathan Davies, Richard Hibbard, Luke Charteris, James Hook and Paul James.

" The set-up and resources at Bristol Rugby are so professional. I am really looking forward to the fresh challenge and getting started," he said.

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

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

Bristol saw their Premiership hopes dashed by London Welsh, meaning another season in the English rugby's second tier.

But they will begin the new Championship campaign in September with major title ambitions, alongside their opening weekend opponents and main rivals for silverware Worcester.

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