Ireland centre Jared Payne signs new two-year IRFU contract
By Lyall Thomas
Last Updated: 18/02/16 5:02pm
Ireland back Jared Payne has signed a two-year contract with the IRFU.
The deal will keep Payne, who has 12 caps for Ireland since his 2014 debut, with Guinness PRO12 leaders Ulster until June 2018.
The 30-year-old featured in both of Ireland's Six Nations games so far; the 16-16 draw with Wales and 10-9 defeat to France.
Payne said: "I am very happy. It has been an honour for me to not only pull on the Ulster jersey but to represent Ireland, and there is plenty for us to achieve with both."
Ireland Rugby performance director David Nucifora said: "Jared has illustrated his ability to compete at the highest level and be an important leader and decision maker for both Ireland and Ulster. We are delighted.
And Ulster's director of rugby Les Kiss said: "Jared is an incredibly astute and intelligent rugby player. He adds experience and calm to any backline and will continue to be an important player for Ulster for years to come."
Payne made his debut for Ulster against the Cardiff Blues in September 2011 and has represented the province 63 times, scoring 14 tries.
Payne, who can play on the wing, at centre or full-back, won his first international cap in the win over South Africa in November 2014 and has two tries to date.