Ulster have announced that loosehead prop Andrew Warwick has put pen to paper his first senior contract with the Guinness PRO12 province.
The 23-year-old has agreed a two-year contract that will see him remain at Kingspan Stadium until at least the end of the 2016/17 season.
It is just nine months since the graduate of the Hughes Insurance Ulster Academy made his debut for the province as a second-half substitute against Cardiff Blues in the BT Arms Park in March.
Since then the Ballymena man has become a key member of the squad, making 16 appearances for Ulster, eight of which have been starts.
“When I joined the Academy my aims were to play for the first team and to sign a professional contract with Ulster. I am delighted now to have achieved both those things,” he told Ulster Rugby.
“The past nine months have been incredible. I am extremely proud to represent Ulster and I look forward to helping the team be successful in the coming seasons.”
Ulster’s Team Manager, Bryn Cunningham, added: “Andrew has made the step up from Academy prospect to first team regular with ease and he is now a highly important player for us in a key position.
“It is crucial for Ulster Rugby moving forward that we retain a core group of home grown talent who possess an ambition that fits in with our culture.
“Andrew is one of those players and we are delighted he has committed to two years.”