Conor Murray: Ireland scrum-half agrees new deal
Ireland scrum-half Conor Murray is to remain at Munster until at least the end of June 2022 after signing a contract extension.
The British and Irish Lions star has ended speculation over his future by agreeing a new central contract with the Irish Rugby Football Union.
Murray, 29, is currently sidelined with a neck injury he suffered in Ireland's final Test against Australia in June.
Munster and the IRFU say Murray signed the extension in early September.
The Limerick native has become a key player for both province and country in recent seasons and is widely regarded as one of the best scrum-halves in world rugby.
His previous IRFU contract was due to end after the 2019 Rugby World Cup and he had recently been linked with a move to several French Top 14 clubs.
"I am delighted to have signed on with the IRFU until at least 2022," said Murray.
"Over the past few seasons I've enjoyed great days in the green of Ireland and the red of my home province Munster. I love playing here and look forward to making more life-long memories in the next few years."
Since making his Ireland debut against France in 2011, Murray has formed a formidable half-back partnership with Johnny Sexton and the pair are seen as pivotal to Ireland's rise up to second place in the world rankings.
He started every match of Ireland's Grand Slam-winning Six Nations campaign this year, kicking a decisive penalty in the victory against England, and he played all but two minutes of the three-Test series against the Wallabies in June.
IRFU performance director, David Nucifora, added: "Conor is a genuinely world-class player and he has illustrated this through the consistent quality of the performances he delivers for both Ireland and Munster.
"He has played a central role in driving the success that has been achieved at national level and we are delighted that he will continue to play his rugby in Ireland for at least the next three seasons."
Murray has been taking part in training with Munster in recent weeks as he continues his recovery from injury but his availability for Ireland's November series this season remains in doubt with Munster having signed New Zealander Alby Mathewson as short-term cover for the playmaker.
Speaking to Munster Rugby, Murray gave a positive update on his injury, the details of which he has declined to reveal to the public.
"It's pretty good," he said. "There's been a lot said about it but I'm back on the pitch and I'm training with the lads so hopefully, sooner rather than later, I'll be able to put on the jersey again."