The Cornish Pirates have added four players to their ranks this week as the side continues to build ahead of the 2019/20 Greene King IPA Championship season.

Tight-head prop Craig Mitchell, back-rower Antonio Kiri Kari, lock Fa-atiga Lemalu and scrum-half Jean-Baptist Bruzulier have all signed for the Mennaye Field club this week.

Former Welsh international tight-head prop Craig Mitchell, aged 33, has signed a two-year contract with the club.

As many will be aware, he is a former Exeter ‘Chief’ who moved to Devon from Swansea in 2011, and then signed for Cardiff Blues in 2014.

In 2016 Craig signed for Newport Gwent Dragons, playing a season there ahead of next joining Yorkshire Carnegie. A short-term deal then saw him move briefly to Newcastle Falcons for the start of the 2018-19 season, and then it was back to Yorkshire Carnegie from where he has joined the Cornish Pirates.

Cornish Pirates Director of Rugby Chris Stirling said: “Craig is a very experienced tight-head prop. He is a man of action and few words but when he speaks people listen.

“Greatly respected, he is a seasoned professional in all he does and is a great addition to the squad who will fit the Pirates style of play with ease.”

Kiwi-born back-rower Antonio Kiri Kiri, who holds an Italian passport, has signed a two-year contract with the club. He previously played for Yorkshire Carnegie.

He has also played for Old Boys Marist, was called up to the Blues Super Rugby squad in January 2018, for whom he made three appearances, whilst from 2012-18 he was consistently a standout performer playing in the back-row for Manawatu Turbos, from where he joined Yorkshire Carnegie in 2018-19.

Stirling has spoken highly of Antonio, saying: “Tough, relentless, ruthless, physical, skilful. These are words that accurately describe Antonio. He also displays leadership qualities and will be a fantastic addition to the Pirates, both on and off the field.”

As for Antonio, he said: “To be joining such a very competitive side in the Championship is exciting. I’m really looking forward to being a part of such a proud club and hope to add value on and off the field and to call Cornwall home.”

Samoan international lock Fa’atiga Lemalu, aged 30, who has put pen to paper on a two-year contract.

Fa’atiga played briefly for Saracens in 2017 and then for Auckland ahead of a move to Yorkshire Carnegie in 2018, from where he joins the Cornish Pirates.

In his international career, following a debut for Samoa against Tonga in 2012, he unluckily missed the 2015 Rugby World Cup because of injury. As for a last cap, that was against England at Twickenham in 2017.

Stirling said: “Fa’atiga is an experienced lock who possesses high levels of power and physicality. His lineout skills are also of a high standard to match his contributions both on and off the field. In short, he will be a great addition to the Pirates, providing extra strength and competition in the second-row.”

Fa’atiga said: “It’s great to have the opportunity to join not just a proud club but also one with such a rich history. I am now really looking forward to add my contribution and to get stuck in.”

Cardiff-born scrum-half Jean-Baptist Bruzulier, aged 26, has signed a three-year contract and is the third squad member to join from Yorkshire Carnegie.

Returning to England from French side Le Parc in 2014, a move to Worcester saw him help the Warriors to gain promotion back to the Premiership in 2015, besides captaining the team to British & Irish Cup success.

In 2016, JB returned to France to play for Nevers, during which he had a loan spell at Clermont Auvergne, and it was from Nevers that he joined Yorkshire Carnegie ahead of the 2018-19 season.

Stirling said of Bruzulier: "JB possesses strength in all the key components of half-back play with kicking being a super strength. His ability to read a match and contribute both on and off the field will make him an important addition to the squad.

“A vibrant young man he will add to the positive culture that already exists at the Pirates.”

JB, who with wife and children is looking forward to life in Cornwall, said: “The Cornish Pirates have been a top club in the Championship for years and I can see with the coaching staff and bringing in Chris Stirling, who did a fantastic job for Carnegie, the potential that can be achieved.

“With the Stadium about to be built, speaking to Alan Paver and Gavin Cattle it’s definitely going to be something special and knowing the Pirates can go places it’s something I couldn’t miss out on!"