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Jones set for Bristol switch

Bristol have confirmed the signing of former Wales captain Ryan Jones on a two-year contract.

Jones, 33, will move to the Championship promotion contenders once his RaboDirect Pro12 commitments with the Ospreys this season are over.

It represents a significant coup for Bristol, with back-row forward Jones having won 75 caps, captained his country more times than any other player, been part of three Grand Slam-winning squads and played in three British and Irish Lions Tests.

" Ryan's arrival indicates the ambition that Bristol Rugby has, and the quality of players we are capable of attracting," Bristol rugby director Andy Robinson told the club's official website.

"To captain your country a record number of times and to play for the British and 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."

Jones has spent 10 years with the Ospreys, joining them from Celtic Warriors in 2004.

He captained the Swansea-based club for three years and has enjoyed domestic league and cup successes during his time with them.

" This has definitely been the toughest decision I've ever had to make, but it's one that I am making for my family," Jones said.

"I've had a fantastic 10 years with the Ospreys and will leave with so many good memories to treasure.

"I am immensely proud of everything we've achieved as a group, with five trophies to look back on, and that success has enabled me to enjoy significant success at international level as well. It's truly been a fantastic journey.

"Swansea is my family home now. It's not just my wife and children who are here, but my parents and sister also live here.

"With only a year remaining on my contract at the Ospreys, this deal offers me longer-term security.

"There were a number of options available to me, but this move gives me that security and offers me a new challenge, while allowing me to stay in 'Ospreylia', which is my region.

"I am d elighted to be joining Bristol Rugby. I will be looking to use my experience to help the team and contribute to the success of the club."

Bristol currently lead the Championship by three points from London Welsh, with the top four clubs qualifying for play-offs in May in pursuit of potential promotion to the Aviva Premiership.

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