A Morecambe second row forward has ended his six-season association with Bristol and joined Ealing Trailfinders.
Glen Townson saw his 2015-2016 campaign cut short by a serious knee injury as the West Country club were promoted to the Aviva Premiership.
Now fully fit, the 29-year-old former Ripley St Thomas pupil has signed a deal until the end of the season with the Greene King IPA Championship side.
“I’m really happy to have signed,” Townson said.
“They are an ambitious club, with a great off-field set up and are playing some very good rugby at the moment.
“I want to come in, help the team maintain their momentum and push on for the later part of the season.”
The lock played his junior rugby with the Vale of Lune and also captained England’s Under 18s.
Townson then linked up with Sale Sharks’ Academy while he was completing a degree in chemistry from Manchester University, later spending a season with Doncaster Knights before joining the Newcastle Falcons.
He joined Bristol in 2011, going on to play 112 times and score three tries in the blue and white hoops.
“It’s been a privilege to represent Bristol Rugby and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my six seasons here, culminating in the club achieving promotion to the top flight,” Townson said in a statement on the Bristol website.
“I’d like to personally thank the supporters for their backing – they have been truly fantastic and made me and my young family welcome in the city.
“I’m looking forward to getting started at Ealing and working with my new team-mates.”
Ealing Trailfinders Director of Rugby Ben Ward said: “It is great for us to bring in Glen at this stage of the season.
“He is a proven performer at this level and after a period out with injury is keen to get back on the pitch.”
“Glen has been an excellent servant to Bristol Rugby and always gave 100 per cent to the shirt, when selected,” Bristol’s acting Head Coach Mark Tainton said.
“He has worked hard to return from a long-term injury and get back to fitness.
“While a starting berth at Bristol this season would have been hard to come by, we’re pleased to see that Glen will get an opportunity to impress at Ealing.
“We wish him all the best for the future.”