Mike Ross and Cian Healy agree new Ireland and Leinster contracts

Cian Healy and Mike Ross
Cian Healy and Mike Ross

Leinster and Ireland have been boosted by the news that props Cian Healy and Mike Ross have agreed new contracts with the Irish Rugby Football Union.

Healy has agreed a new three-year deal until the end of the 2015-16 season while Ross has signed a two-year deal.

Both players have been named in the Ireland team to face Wales in the Six Nations opener in Cardiff on Saturday.

Earlier this week it emerged that Leinster fly-half Jonathan Sexton was set to move to France next season.

Sexton failed to agree terms with the IRFU and is understood to be on his way to Racing Metro.

Ross has won 24 caps for Ireland since making his debut against Canada in June 2009, appearing in the 2011 Rugby World Cup, and has made 80 appearances for Leinster.

Healy won the first of his 35 Irish caps to date against Australia in 2009, and has turned out for Leinster on 109 occasions.

IRFU Chief Executive Philip Browne said it was "a very strong sign for Irish rugby to have such important players committing their futures to remain playing here".

"The market place for players continues to be a competitive one, but the IRFU and the provinces will continue to work to retain the best players in Ireland."

Ross said: "The last four years have been a great experience for me from winning my first cap for Ireland and playing in the Rugby World Cup to appearing in two Heineken Cup finals.

"Those are great memories and achievements in my career and so I'm delighted to have a new contract agreed to get the chance to hopefully continue that."

Healy added: "The whole experience of playing for Leinster is something that I wanted to keep with me, along with the possibility of winning more silverware."

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