(Photo: Getty Images)
By Adam Ellis
Ulster centre Darren Cave has signed a contract extension to stay with the club until the end of the 2018-19 season.
Holywood-born Cave, 31, has racked up 208 appearances for the PRO14 side and the player said he was looking to finish a disappointing season on a high.
“I’m really pleased to be staying on for another season,” said Cave, whose previous deal was set to expire in June.
“This month marks 11 years since I won my first Ulster cap and I still feel that I have much more to give.”
Ulster have been unable to shake an inconsistant streak that has yet to see them record back-to-back victories in 2018, leaving them off the pace in Conference B behind Leinster, Scarlets, and Edinburgh.
And Cave conceded the remaining fixtures to be played will have more use heading into next season, as they look to build some momentum.
“We have a lot of work to do but the guys are committed to improving as individuals and as a collective,” said Cave, capped 11 times by Ireland.
“Hopefully we can finish this season strongly and then bring that through to the new campaign.
“I believe the future of Ulster Rugby is bright and I’m really looking forward to being part of that.”
The centre made his debut for the province in 2007 as an academy graduate and has gone on to become Ulster’s third most-capped player in their history.
Ulster operations director, Bryn Cunningham, said Cave’s standing within the home team dressing room at the Kingspan made him a role model to his team-mates.
“Darren has been an integral part of Ulster Rugby for over a decade and he still has a lot to offer both on and off the pitch,” Cunningham commented.
“He is proud to represent Ulster and gives absolutely everything to the cause every time he pulls on the jersey.