andrew trimble ulsterAndrew Trimble has become the latest player to commit his future to playing in Ireland with his home province Ulster by putting pen to paper on a new Ireland international contract that will see him remain playing in Ravenhill for a further two years until the end of the 2012-13 season.

Andrew Trimble’s signature follows a successful period of contract negotiations with fellow Ireland international Stephen Ferris also signed under an Ireland international contract until 2013 as well as Nevin Spence, Paddy McAllister and Dan Tuohy also being retained by Ulster Rugby.

Andrew Trimble also joins a growing list of international contracts being awarded with Ronan O’Gara, Donncha O’Callaghan and Cian Healy also recently signing Ireland contracts. Trimble made his Ulster debut in September 2005 against Cardiff Blues and has so far played 111 times for his province. He quickly followed that debut with his first international appearance for Ireland against Australia in November and has so far won 31 caps and has scored eight international tries.

Andrew Trimble said, “Ulster and Irish rugby are going from strength to strength and my decision to stay in Ireland was to make sure I was part of that. We have some big games coming up, so I am really happy that I was able to agree my new contract before we went into the busy period. As well as the challenges we have in the Heineken Cup and Magners League coming up, I was conscious that I also wanted to concentrate on playing as well as possible here with Ulster so I can challenge for a place with Ireland ahead of the Six Nations and the World Cup this year. Our game this weekend against Biarritz is my first priority and everybody in Ulster Rugby is firmly focused on that.”

Ireland Coach Declan Kidney said, “It is great news that the IRFU and Andrew have come to an agreement that allows him to continue his playing career in Ireland with Ulster. It is important for both the Provinces and Ireland to keep as many of our top players playing here.”

Director of Rugby in Ulster David Humphreys said: “Here at Ulster Rugby we’re delighted that Andrew has chosen to continue and further his rugby career in Ireland. He’s enjoying a rich vein of form, and as one of the senior members of the Ulster Squad he’s played an integral part in the improvements we’ve made this season. As we saw from his performance last weekend against Teviso, he’s certainly back to his best.”

Here’s Andrew talking about his decision to stay with Ulster: