England international Nathan Hughes will join Bristol Bears ahead of the 2019/20 campaign. Additionally, Wasps have confirmed that Springbok fullback Willie le Roux will be leaving the club at the end of the season after arriving at the Coventry-based side in 2017.
The 27-year-old powerhouse signs a three-year deal to link up with head coach Pat Lam in the West Country.
One of the most dominant forwards in the Gallagher Premiership, standing at 6’5” and weighing over 126kg, Hughes arrives from fellow top flight outfit Wasps.
“It’s tremendous to secure Nathan’s signing and to see how excited he is about coming to Bristol and helping us realise our vision,” said Lam.
“He’s a quality rugby player who brings physicality, power and brute strength to our game.
“At 27 years old, we’re excited about how much better he can become as we continue to grow as a team.
“We are striving to be a Champions Cup team and a player of Nathan’s quality can help us along our journey, on and off the field.”
A product of the Auckland academy, Hughes has earned eighteen international caps for England since a debut in 2016.
He added: “When I talked to Pat about the direction of the club and the ambition at Bristol, it really excited me.
“I’ve spoken to a lot of guys there and they have been really positive about the environment and the unbelievable support for the Bears in the city.
“There’s still a lot I want to achieve and the quality of coaching and the squad at Bristol means that everything is in place to be successful.”