Ulster Rugby have confirmed that Iain Henderson will remain at the club until June 2015 after signing his first full contract.
The 20-year-old has been upgraded from a development contract after impressing the coaching staff with his recent performances.
Henderson has represented Ulster and Ireland at numerous underage levels and has progressed through the Ulster Academy system.
He also played in the previous two IRB Junior World Championships and was one of the standout players in this summer’s tournament in South Africa.
Henderson said: “I’m delighted to have signed a new contract with Ulster. I've dreamed of being a professional with my home province and it’s fantastic that it’s come to fruition.
"I've learnt a great deal from the coaching staff and senior players here and I can’t wait to continue my development at Ravenhill.
"There’s a lot of competition in the squad, particularly in the back row, but I want to try and get as many games as possible under my belt."
Ulster Director of Rugby, David Humpreys added: "Iain is one of the brightest young players in Ireland, he has all the attributes required to be a top class forward and we are delighted to welcome him into the professional set up.
"We are trying to build a team of home grown players which is capable of competing with and beating the best teams in Europe, and Iain epitomises what we are trying to achieve."