Ireland international Ian Madigan will join Bristol next season after Bordeaux agreed to release the out-half early from his contract.
The former Leinster man joined the Top 14 side last summer but has struggled to break into the team and has lost his place in the Ireland squad.
Madigan, who has agreed a three-year deal believed to be worth over €500,000 per annum, will play under current Connacht coach Pat Lam at Ashton Gate next season.
"The opportunity to come to England and prove myself here is one that I relish," said Madigan.
"Bristol Rugby has a clear vision for what they want to achieve and the club's philosophy match my own ambitions.
"I know the expansive style of rugby that Pat and his coaching team want to play and that excites me.
"I was so impressed with the vision that was laid out to me, it made it an easy decision to commit to Bristol.
"The culture that the club are building, coupled with a city that loves its rugby, is something that really appeals to me. I'm looking forward to representing Bristol in front of the passionate supporters at Ashton Gate."
The RTÉ Sport Online columnist hinted said last month that he was "open to playing for any of the provinces" and that "playing for Ireland is still the ultimate for me".
However, Joe Schmidt has warned that players plying their trade outside the provinces face a tougher task to force their way into his plans, so an international recall for the 27-year-old now seems unlikely.
Bristol are also likely to be in the second-tier Championship next season. They are seven points adrift at the bottom of the Premiership with five games to play.
England international Shane Geraghty and former Wales star Gavin Henson currently compete for the No 10 shirt at Bristol.
"Ian is a player we have been looking at for a while," said acting head coach Mark Tainton.
"It's been no secret that we were seeking a world-class fly-half and - with his age profile and experience - Ian fits the bill perfectly.
"He has bought into what we are trying to achieve here. Ian has chosen to commit for three years and we're delighted to have secured his services with a number of high-profile clubs interested in him.
"With his distribution and goal kicking skills, Ian will be a fantastic asset to us in the fly-half position."