Northampton Saints can today announce that scrum-half James Mitchell has joined the Club on a short-term contract ahead of the 2019/20 season.
The 24-year-old arrived on trial at Franklin’s Gardens earlier this summer but has now put pen to paper on a deal to keep him in Northampton for the duration of the Rugby World Cup.
Mitchell – elder brother of current Saints No.9 Alex – joins the men in Black, Green and Gold from Pro14 side Connacht, where he and made 26 appearances and scored two tries.
“This is the kind of environment I want to be in and I’m looking forward to testing myself over the coming months.”James Mitchell
After progressing through the Sale Sharks academy, Mitchell began his professional career with the Manchester club before moving to the west coast of Ireland.
But after two seasons in the Pro14, the young half-back is relishing the opportunity for a return to England and the Gallagher Premiership with Northampton.
“I jumped at the opportunity to come to Northampton and try to make an impact here at Saints,” he said. “This is a massive Club and I’m excited to make a good challenge for the No.9 jersey.
“I’ve obviously heard a lot about Saints from Alex, and having watched the side play last year, it’s clear if you play well here you will get your opportunities.
“There are a lot of young players here and the group has a lot of ambition; this is the kind of environment I want to be in and I’m looking forward to testing myself over the coming months.”
Mitchell also represented England at Under-16, Under-17 and Under-18 level before getting selected for the 2015 Under-20 Six Nations. He played in all five games during the Championship and subsequently played every match in the Red Rose’s run to the final of the Under-20 World Championship in Italy.
The No.9 also captained Sale Sharks’ side during the 2015 Premiership Rugby 7s, and could make his debut in Black, Green and Gold in the same competition next week.
Director of rugby Chris Boyd added: “In James, we’ve added another scrum-half with quality and a huge amount of potential.
“It’s important to keep competition for places high across the squad, and James can now challenge the likes of Henry Taylor and Connor Tupai for starts at the beginning of this season.
“He looks sharp and, even more importantly, hungry on the training paddock so I’m confident he will make an important contribution this term.”