The 22-year-old from Maidstone in England is Irish qualified through his maternal grandmother who hails from Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh. He joins Connacht from Sale Sharks where he has played as a professional for the past three seasons. His first-team debut for the Sharks came in an LV= Cup game against Worcester in January 2014. He has since played 20 times for the Premiership side, 12 of those during the last campaign.
Mitchell represented England at Under-16, U17 and U18 level before being selected for the 2015 U20 6 Nations Squad. He played in all five games in that competition and subsequently went on to feature in all five games at the U20 World Championship in Italy.
Commenting on the latest player signing, Connacht CEO Willie Ruane said:
“We’re delighted to be acquiring the services of a young Irish qualified player like James. His signing highlights the potential of the new IRFU IQ programme when it comes to identifying Irish qualified talent overseas.
“James comes with a great deal of experience from playing in the Premiership and we’re excited to see what he will add to the squad and the scrumhalf position.”
James Mitchell added:
“I’m really looking forward to moving over to Connacht. From speaking to a few people about the club I’m really excited by the new challenge and I believe it is a great opportunity for me. I’ve been watching Connacht Rugby for a few seasons now and have been really taken by the exciting brand of rugby they play. Hopefully I can make a positive contribution to the team.”