Reigning Heineken Cup champions Toulon have confirmed the signing of Ospreys second row Ian Evans on a three-year deal from next season.

Management at the region were advised during a meeting at the weekend of the player's decision to accept an offer from the French club, but in respect of his personal wishes agreed to delay making any announcement until after the completion of the autumn international series and the forthcoming Heineken Cup fixtures against Castres.

However, Toulon announced the news via their official channels and Ospreys have now confirmed the transfer.

Andy Lloyd, rugby operations manager at the Ospreys, said: "On behalf of the Ospreys I'd like to thank Ian for his years of service to the region.

"It's not the way that either he or the Ospreys would have wanted to announce his departure but, unfortunately, due to there being so many unknown variables in the Welsh rugby landscape, incidents like this will continue to happen at every region.”

Twenty-nine-year-old Evans has made 31 starts for Wales and was part of their 2008 and 2013 Six Nations's victories. He has played for Ospreys since 2005 and became a British and Irish Lion in 2013.