Conor Murray has said the potential of a special era at Munster reinforced the reasons to commit his future to the province.
The 24-year-old, who has already played 22 times for Ireland, has signed a new two-year IRFU deal to at least June 2016.
Speaking on RTÉ 2FM’s Game On tonight, Murray revealed he turned down approaches from France and England to stay with Munster.
He said: “There was a bit of interest from clubs in France and in England as well which is great. It's a bit of a confidence booster to know there is a couple of clubs interested in you.
“Weighing up things, this is where I want to be at this point of my career. I'm young, I still have a lot of developing to do and being in Munster and in Ireland is the best place to develop my game and take that next step that I want to do. Fingers crossed there is a bit of silverware mixed in as well.
“People ask you if France is an option or other clubs in other countries and you have to have a look at your options but for me and at my age, and with the group of players that are around here at Munster, there is something special that could happen.
“There is a lot of young players that people don't know about. People in the squad are certainly aware of the talent that is there.
“I'm certainly aware of it and going forward being part of this Munster squad and fingers crossed the Irish squad can be really special and definitely an exciting future lies ahead.”
Murray’s future, along with several other Irish internationals, has been the focus of intense speculation in recent days and he admitted he is relieved to be able to concentrate on action on the field with his new contract secured.
He added: “There was a lot of through November, a lot of people would ask you about it and it probably was getting a bit frustrating. I didn't have an answer for people. To finally let it out of the bag and everyone knows, I can relax and focus on the future.
“It's weird in this day and age, it can be like soccer with all the speculation on transfers. Last night I was in the cinema and the phone kept hopping.
“The rumours had started about players leaving and there would be big news on Tuesday. I knew my contract would be announced today so I couldn't give that away!
“I'm just delighted to stay with Munster, push for a place with Ireland and continue to develop as a player. I can just get my head down now and work hard.
“For me, I felt it would be in my head if it was ongoing during the November series so I wanted to put in on hold and pick it up afterwards and get it done as quickly as possible before we get into Heineken Cup.
“It's up to the player if it'll get into your head or effect or your game. Thankfully we got it sorted pretty quickly after the Autumn.”