Bristol have signed Northampton hooker Ross McMillan on an 18-month contract.
The 27-year-old has already linked up with his new club, who are unbeaten at the top of the Championship.
McMillan made 43 appearances for Saints, helping the club win the Amlin Challenge Cup in 2014.
"Losing Max Crumpton and Ross Johnston to long-term injuries have left us light in the hooker position, so Ross's arrival bolsters our options there," said Bristol boss Andy Robinson.
"We'd like to thank Northampton Saints for their co-operation in agreeing an early release and allowing us to bring Ross to Bristol."
McMillan has already gained Championship experience during loan spells with Nottingham and Moseley.
"I'm looking forward to the opportunity to come down to Bristol and compete for a first-team place," said McMillan. "I know the Championship well - it's a tough league and there are no easy fixtures.
"With the quality of players and coaching staff at Bristol's disposal, everything is in place for a promotion push, so I'm excited to play my part."