Chris Henry signs contract extension with Ulster

Chris Henry and Brian McLaughlin
Chris Henry in discussion with Ulster coach Brian McLaughlin

Ulster back row forward Chris Henry has agreed a two-year contract extension with the Irish province.

The deal will see Henry continue to play in Ulster colours until at least June 2014.

Coach Brian McLaughlin had handed the 27-year-old the captaincy for the early part of the season because of the absence of Johann Muller and Rory Best.

"It's something you have to think hard about but Ulster is where I want to be," said Henry.

The once-capped Ireland international joined Ulster on a development contract in 2006 before signing his first professional contract with the Province in 2007-08.

Henry made 29 appearances for Ulster last season, more than any other player with the exception of Pedrie Wannenburg who also made 29.

His role as a key member of the team which reached the Magners League play-offs and the Heineken Cup quarter-finals was recognised with a nomination for 'Player of the Year' at the Ulster Rugby Awards last May.

"I'm delighted to have signed the extension - I've had an absolute blast in my last couple of seasons at Ulster.

"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.

"It's a really tightly knit group of players and coaches, and it's a great working environment.

"I'm very excited to have got the contract signed and it allows me to concentrate solely on rugby for the next three years.

Ulster Director of Rugby David Humphreys is delighted to have secured Henry's long-term signature.

"Over the past couple of years Chris has developed into a key member of the Ulster 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.

"In the modern game, player durability is becoming a vital part of player recruitment and Chris has been consistently available for selection throughout the last few seasons," said Humphreys.