Six Nations 2013: Ross and Healy Ireland deals boost Kidney

Six Nations 2013: Cian Healy and Mike Ross sign new contracts with RFU, handing Declan Kidney a boost ahead of Wales opener

Declan Kidney has received a huge boost ahead of this weekend’s Six Nations opener against Wales after props Cian Healy and Mike Ross agreed new contracts with the Irish Rugby Football Union.

A host of Celtic players have departed for big paydays in France in recent seasons – most notably Irish fly half Jonathan Sexton has failed to agree terms with the IRFU in 2013 and now looks set to sign for Racing Metro.

Leinster prop Healy has signed a three-year deal, while his club-colleague Ross has penned a two-year extension – both have been named in the Ireland team to face Wales in Cardiff.

Ross has already accumulated 24 caps for Ireland since making his debut in 2009, while Healy, who made his international debut in the same season, has racked up 35 international appearances.

Ross said: “The last four years have been a great experience for me from winning my first cap for Ireland and playing in the Rugby World Cup to appearing in two Heineken Cup finals.

“Those are great memories and achievements in my career and so I’m delighted to have a new contract agreed to get the chance to hopefully continue that.”

While Healy admitted the lure of chasing further silverware in Leinster colours, as well as representing Ireland on the international stage, had made his contract extension an easy decision.

Healy added: “The whole experience of playing for Leinster is something that I wanted to keep with me, along with the possibility of winning more silverware.”

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