Darren Cave signs new three-year deal with Ulster Rugby

Ireland centre to remain with province until at least 2018

Ireland centre Darren Cave has signed a new three-year contract that will keep him at the Kingspan Stadium until 2018.

With undoubted interest from other quarters, we are delighted to retain his services for at least three more years.

Bryn Cunningham

The 27-year-old, who has won eight international caps, joined the Ulster Academy in 2005 and has made 144 appearances for the province since making his debut against Border Reivers in 2007.

The Holyrood native has been in tremendous form for Ulster, with two man of the match performances in his last two outings at the Kingspan, scoring a try against the Scarlets in their European Champions Cup win on Saturday.

“I am delighted to be staying with Ulster until at least 2018,” Cave said.

“I have total faith in the coaching and management set-up we have and I am excited about what this group can achieve in the coming seasons.

“The support that we get, particularly at Kingspan Stadium, never ceases to amaze me and, as someone who was brought up supporting Ulster, it’s a pleasure to be involved for the next three-and-a-half years.”

Cave has been in outstanding form of late, scoring a try in the European Champions Cup victory over the Scarlets on Saturday.

Capped eight times at international level, Cave started at outside centre against Georgia in the November series.

“Darren has been one of Ulster’s most consistent performers over the last number of seasons,” Bryn Cunningham added.

“Aside from his considerable try-scoring record, his defensive organisation is outstanding in what can be the most difficult channel to defend.

“His performance on Saturday, in which he scored one try and set up another, highlights Darren’s importance to the squad.

“With undoubted interest from other quarters, we are delighted to retain his services for at least three more years.”

Ulster have also issued an injury update ahead of their trip to Llanelli to take on the Scarlets on Sunday.

Centre Stuart McCloskey faces a spell on the sidelines with “a significant elbow ligament injury” and is awaiting advice from a specialist on the extent of the problem.

The 22-year-old had replaced Stuart Olding, who went off with concussion, in the midfield.

Olding will undergo graduated return to play protocols, as will lock Franco van der Merwe, who also suffered concussion.

Ireland centre Luke Marshall is expected return to training, which should ease Ulster’s injury concerns at centre, but their pack also took a hit with tighthead prop Wiehahn Herbst and number 8 Nick Williams both picked up hamstring injuries.

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