Sale Sharks scrum-half Dwayne Peel will join Bristol in the summer.
The former Wales international, who played for the British & Irish Lions on the 2005 tour of New Zealand, joins the ambitious Championship club on a two-year deal.
Bristol's director of rugby Andy Robinson said: "Dwayne's decision to join us is a major coup for the club and a real indication of the direction we want to go.
"He has a wealth of experience with over ten years at the top of the professional game - that's a testament to Dwayne's attitude and work ethic.
"Dwayne fits the bill for the type of player we want at Bristol Rugby - proven quality, a winning mentality and a consistent level of performance every time he takes to the field."
Peel, 32, played 76 times for Wales and was part of the squad which won Grand Slams in 2005 and 2008.
He made 82 appearances for the Sharks in the Aviva Premiership since 2008, scoring seven tries.
"I'm delighted to be joining Bristol and taking on this new challenge in my career," Peel said.
"There's a real desire to achieve things - Bristol is a club with lofty ambitions and a clear vision of where they want to go - that appealed to me.
"Having played against the club many times, I know all about the large fan-base and the passion for the sport in the city; I'm excited about the move."