Pro12: Ireland captain Paul O'Connell signs new two-year contract with Munster
Paul O'Connell has signed a new two-year contract with the IRFU that will keep him at Munster until 2016.
Last Updated: 20/01/14 10:17am
The Ireland captain had been linked with a move abroad but will now remain at Munster until the end of the 2015/16 season.
"I am delighted to sign a new IRFU contract and to continue playing with Munster for the next two seasons," said O'Connell.
"Over the years I have been privileged to play in many fantastic Munster sides and as we build for the future I am excited by the prospect of playing my part in achieving success with Munster and Ireland in the coming seasons."
O'Connell, 34, made his senior debut for Munster against Edinburgh in August 2001 and has since made 154 appearances for the Irish province, scoring 19 tries.
The Limerick native made his Ireland bow in the Six Nations win over Wales in 2002 and has won 88 caps for his country. He was appointed Ireland captain during last year's autumn internationals.
O'Connell's list of honours includes skippering Munster to their second Heineken Cup success in 2008, the 2009 Six Nations Grand Slam and captaining the British and Irish Lions in South Africa later that year - his second of three tours.
IRFU chief executive Philip Browne said: "Paul is one of Ireland's greatest ever rugby players and his contribution to the success of Irish rugby over the past decade has been immense.
"We are delighted that the Irish captain has committed his future to Munster and Ireland for the next two years."
Munster Coach Rob Penny added: "We are delighted that Paul has signed a new IRFU contract which keeps him at Munster up to the end of the 2016 season.
"Paul has contributed so much to Munster Rugby over the years and remains one of the best second rows in world rugby.
"His experience and leadership will play a key role in the future development of this young Munster squad."