Italy international Tommaso Benvenuti has signed with Bristol from French side Perpignan on an 18-month deal.
The versatile three-quarter was a regular for the Azzurri when he came through the ranks at Treviso, but had fallen out of favour since a move to the Catalan side.
Perpignan were then relegated from the Top 14 last season, and Benvenuti has made just three starts for the French side in Pro D2 this season.
As a result the 24-year-old Benvenuti, who has 30 caps to his name, has taken the chance to join Bristol, who currently sit top of the Championship with ten wins from as many games.
“I’m excited to take on this new challenge with Bristol Rugby,” said Benvenuti, who linked up with his new team-mates yesterday.
“It’s a great club that is building for the future.
“I’ve visited Ashton Gate before joining and seen the plans for the new stadium – it really appealed to me.
“I’m looking forward to linking up with my new team-mates and helping Bristol push for promotion.”
“Tommaso is a talented young player, who is capable of performing consistently at the very highest level,” added Bristol director of rugby Andy Robinson.
“He arrives with a strong pedigree, having played European Cup rugby for Treviso and played for Perpignan in the Top 14.
“We’re looking forward to welcoming Tommaso into the squad. His experience and physical presence will help drive our performances.”