Connacht have signed former England Under-20s scrum-half James Mitchell.

The 22-year-old is, however, Ireland-qualified through a grandparent from Fermanagh.

Mitchell, who signs for the 2016 Guinness Pro12 champions after three seasons at Sale Sharks, has also represented England at Under-16, 17 and 18 grades.

He said: "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."

Connacht CEO Willie Ruane said: "We’re delighted to be acquiring the services of a young Irish-qualified (IQ) player like James.

"His signing highlights the potential of the new IRFU IQ programme when it comes to identifying Irish qualified talent overseas."