Ulster have announced that hooker Rob Herring has signed a new two-year contract, keeping him at Kingspan Stadium until the end of 2017/18.
The 25-year-old hooker has amassed 79 appearances for Ulster and scored three tries, since making his debut in the PRO12 against Glasgow Warriors in August 2012. He continues to vie for a starting berth with Ireland's most-capped hooker, Rory Best.
Herring's provincial form has been rewarded with multiple call-ups to Ireland squads and he made his international bow in June 2014 after coming off the bench in an end-of-season tour match against Argentina. He was included in Ireland's extended squad ahead of the 2015 Rugby World Cup campaign.
He was appointed as Ulster captain during the recent World Cup, highlighting his importance to the side.
"I'm very happy to be staying. The last three years have gone really quickly for me and I've enjoyed every minute of it. It's particularly enjoyable playing at Kingspan Stadium in front of our home crowd – you can't ask for a better stadium to play at," said Herring.
"Captaining Ulster while Rory was away at the World Cup was massive highlight for me and it was a proud moment that I'll remember forever.
"I've really enjoyed my time at Ulster over the past three seasons. It's a top side in Europe and in the PRO12 and we're always pushing to win competitions, so it's a great place for me to be."
Ulster's Director of Rugby, Les Kiss, added: "I'm delighted that Rob has agreed to remain with us for a further two seasons. He is highly regarded by his peers and he has developed into one of the key leaders within our group. He's still relatively young for a front-row player and will develop even more, but to have 79 caps for Ulster at the age of 25 is testament to his quality."