Chris Henry has signed a two-year extension to his Ulster contract, committing himself to his native province until June 2014 at least.
The back row forward, who celebrated his 27th birthday on Monday, joined Ulster on a development contract in 2006 before signing his first professional deal in the 2007/08 season. Since then he has emerged as a key member of Brian McLaughlin’s team.
Henry swept the boards at the 2009/10 Ulster Rugby Awards with a trio of accolades — Rugby Writers' Player of the Year, Personality of the Year and Supporters’ Player of the Season.
Then — and again last season — he was nominated for the Player of the Year award, too.
With Rory Best and Johann Muller having been on World Cup duty with Ireland and South Africa respectively, Henry has been Ulster’s captain in their absence. He also deputised in the first half of the 2009/10 season during Best’s recuperation from surgery.
“I’ve had an absolute blast in my last couple of seasons at Ulster and this is where I want to be.
“I’ve dealt with Brian for a long time now, since we worked together at Ulster Schools, and I’ve built up a good relationship with him and the rest of the coaching staff as well,” Henry said.
“In the last couple of years the team have definitely improved.
“Our success last year has given us motivation to carry that forward and without a doubt I want to win some silverware in my career and that’s hopefully where Ulster are moving forward to.”
Ulster Director of Rugby David Humphreys said: “We are delighted that Chris has committed his future to Ulster Rugby.
“Over the past couple of years he has developed into a key member of the team and his ability to play in a number of positions across the back row has been invaluable to the squad and the coaching staff.”