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Ulster tie Ireland international trio down to new three-year contracts

Luke Marshall, Kieran Treadwell and Rob Herring have put pen to paper on new deals at Kingspan Stadium.

Marshall has won 11 Ireland caps but wasn't involved in the November series.
Marshall has won 11 Ireland caps but wasn't involved in the November series.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

ULSTER HAVE SECURED the future of three Ireland internationals with Luke Marshall, Kieran Treadwell and Rob Herring all signing three-year contract extensions with the province.

The new deals will see the trio remain at Kingspan Stadium until the summer of 2021, but there is still no news on the future of Iain Henderson who is also out of contract at the end of the season.

26-year-old Marshall is a graduate of the Ulster academy and has played 111 times, and scored 21 tries, for the club since making his senior debut against Munster in October 2010.

Marshall has been capped 11 times for Ireland but missed out on selection for the recent November internationals having toured USA and Japan with Joe Schmidt’s side in June.

“Luke has been one of our most consistent players in recent years; he’s a robust presence in our midfield and is a brilliant link man in both attack and defence,” Les Kiss said.

“He is a passionate about rugby in Ulster and I think that is evident not only in his performances on the pitch, but also in the way he contributes so positively to the local rugby community.”

Treadwell, meanwhile, commits his future to Ulster after moving to Belfast from Harlequins at the start of last season. The second row’s impressive debut season was rewarded with a first international call-up and he added to his two caps against Japan with a third in the win over Fiji this month.

Herring also featured during the November clean sweep, coming off the bench in the opening Test against South Africa and starting against Fiji a week later, with the hooker now firmly settled in Ireland after arriving from Western Province in 2012.

Rob Herring Herring featured for Ireland during the November series. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

The South African-born hooker has made 129 appearances for Ulster and captained the side on numerous occasions during the 2015/16 and 2016/17 seasons.

Kiss added: ”Rob and Kieran have also been in excellent form this season and I was delighted to see them earn recalls into the national squad for this month’s fixtures.

“Rob has really grown as a player since his arrival at Ulster five years ago and he is widely regarded as a highly skilled hooker who leads from the front.

“Kieran has made a big impression over the past 18 months and it’s evident that he possesses all the attributes required to become a top class second row; he’s a big, mobile unit and is a good student of the game.

“All three players are determined to continue to work hard to improve and that is exactly the type of culture that we’re trying to build here.

“With increasing player movement, it’s vital that we continue to retain our best talent, and to have Luke, Rob and Kieran commit to long-term deals is a huge boost for us. They will play central roles in our programme over the next few years.”

All three are likely to feature when Ulster face Dragons in the Guinness Pro14 on Friday evening, with Kiss also boosted by the return of Rory Best, Sean Reidy, Stuart McCloskey and Chris Henry.

Ireland captain Best is in line to make his first league appearance of the season at Rodney Parade, although Henderson and Jacob Stockdale have not been released for provincial duty.

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