Ulster and Ireland centre Darren Cave signs new deal

Darren Cave
Darren Cave is now in his seventh year as an Ulster player

Ulster and Ireland centre Darren Cave has signed a new three-year contract that will keep him at the Kingspan Stadium until at least 2018.

The 27-year-old, who made his first Ulster appearance against Border Reivers in 2007, has become a key player for the Irish province.

"It's great to be involved for the next three and a half years. I'm excited about what we can achieve," said Cave.

Cave made his Ireland debut in 2009 and has won eight international caps.

The former Sullivan Upper pupil came through the Ulster Academy system before breaking into the senior team.

Cunningham pleased with Cave contract

Cave, a strong runner and tough tackler, made over 20 appearances for Ulster in his first season.

He helped Ulster to the Heineken Cup final in 2012 and was an ever-present the following year when the Belfast side reached the Pro12 decider.

"The support that we get, particularly at Kingspan Stadium, never ceases to amaze me and as someone who was brought up supporting Ulster, I am delighted to be staying until at least 2018," added Cave.

Cave won the Grand Slam with Ireland U20s in 2007 and was part of the Irish A side which lifted the Churchill Cup two years later.

His first senior appearance came against Canada and the highlight of his Ireland career to date is the excellent try he scored in the 2012 victory over Fiji.

Cave won his most recent cap in last month's victory over Georgia at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.