Ulster full-back Jared Payne has signed a three-year deal that will keep him at Ravenhill until 2016.
The former New Zealand Under-21 international, who will become eligible for Ireland next year, joined the Irish province from Auckland Blues in 2011.
His debut season in the northern hemisphere was cut short after just three matches when he snapped his Achilles tendon.
However he has made up for lost time during this campaign, scoring eight tries as Ulster reached the Heineken Cup quarter-finals and finished top of the RaboDirect PRO12 table.
The 27-year-old said: 'I am really enjoying my rugby here at Ulster so I am pleased to be staying for another three years.
"We have a fantastic squad of players and we play a great brand of rugby. It has been a successful season so far and hopefully we can finish the campaign off with some silverware."
Ulster director of rugby David Humphreys added: "Jared is an exceptional player who is as dynamic with ball-in-hand as he is rock solid in defence.
"He is a hugely important member of our squad and I am delighted that he has committed to Ulster for a further three years."
Ulster host the Scarlets on Friday in the PRO12 play-offs, where victory will clinch a final date with Leinster or Glasgow in Dublin on 25 May.
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