Ulster have received a boost after Craig Gilroy penned a new deal at Ravenhill.
The electric 21-year-old, who is seen as one of the most exciting prospects in Irish rugby, has signed a new three-year contract to remain at Ulster until the summer of 2016.
Gilroy announced himself on the European stage with a spectacular try in Ulster's victory over Munster in last season's Heineken Cup quarter-finals.
The touchdown, Gilroy's third European effort, was voted Try of the Season at the 2012 IRUPA Player Awards and he has continued his rapid progress.
He bagged two tries for an Ireland XV against the Barbarians in May and grabbed a hat-trick in last Saturday's non-cap international against Fiji at Thomond Park.
"I am delighted that I will be playing my rugby at Ravenhill well into 2016," said Gilroy.
"I am proud to play for my Province - representing Ulster means a great deal to me. Things are going really well at the moment. We have had a good start to both the RaboDirect PRO12 and the Heineken Cup and it is great to be a part of. I am looking forward to helping Ulster be successful over the course of the rest of this season and the next three seasons."
Gilroy has featured in both of Ulster's Heineken Cup victories this season but has so far failed to cross the whitewash.
They sit at the peak of Pool Four but face a crucial December double-header with Northampton Saints in Rounds Three and Four of the competition.
Ulster director of rugby David Humphreys was delighted to tie down Gilroy's future and reckons the Dungannon product will have a major impact on European rugby.
"I am pleased that a player of the talent of Craig Gilroy has committed to Ulster for the long term," said Humphreys.
"Craig is a product of the Ulster Academy and he fits with our ambition of creating a team of home-grown players capable of competing with the best in Europe. There is no doubt that he is an exceptional rugby player and his future both at Provincial and International level is extremely bright."
As part of the build-up to next month's Cardiff 2014 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup finals weekend, ERC has joined forces with the WRU, Cardiff Blues and adidas to develop an annual grassroots community rugby programme targeting young players.
The Ulster Rugby full back, Jared Payne (No 15), has been suspended for two (2) weeks following an independent Disciplinary Hearing in Dublin arising from the Heineken Cup quarter-final match against Saracens at Ravenhill Stadium on Saturday, 5 April.