Leinster have been handed a boost after Cian Healy signed a new two-year deal with the Irish Rugby Football Union.
The prop had been linked with a move overseas but he has ended the speculation by putting pen to paper and will continue to ply his trade in the Magners League until 2013.
“I am delighted to have my new contract signed as it means I can continue to concentrate on playing for my home province and improving my game further,” said Healy.
“It has been a good couple of weeks for us and so I just want to focus on playing well for Leinster to keep me firmly in the plans of Declan (Kidney) and the national team.”
With the lure of big money moves abroad, Kidney was delighted to secure Healy’s future.
“For a young player like Cian who has progressed really well over the last 18 months this is good news as it allows him to continue to develop as a player in Ireland,” said Kidney.
IRFU chief executive Phillip Browne also revealed a number of other players are expected to follow in Healy’s footsteps by committing to new deals in the coming weeks.
“We began the process of contracting players as early as the summer and while it is something that can take time to complete, this is nothing new and we are progressing through the majority of those contracts that are coming to an end this season or early next season,” added Browne.
“With a fixture list of potentially over 40 matches per season and with even more games in overseas leagues where we would have no influence on the game time for Irish players, it is vital that we continue to work to retain players to play within Ireland in the provinces.”