Burnell, who is also coach to the successful Wales under-19 squad and has responsibilities with the Blues' Academy, played for Pontypridd and Cardiff and was previously coach of Pontypridd.
Keith Morgan also announced that several new players have joined the Blue & Blacks' squad. These include wing Daniel Gravell (from Llanelli), scrum-half Llyr Lane (Doncaster), wing or centre Tom James (Merthyr), Newport prop Gareth McCarthy, and three forwards from Pontypool - Matthew Amos, Dafydd Rosser and Gavin Lucas. The majority of last season's squad who have been offered new contracts have already agreed to stay. They are expected to be joined by several members of the Blues' Academy who will be attached to the Blue & Blacks when required.
Pre-season training is scheduled to begin on 27 June and two warm-up fixtures have been arranged - in Scotland against Selkirk on the weekend of 18-21 August, when the team will also take part in the prestigious Selkirk Sevens, and at Bridgewater on 26 August.