Leinster and Ireland prop Cian Healy has signed a new three-year contract with the IRFU, which will see him remain with the province until the end of the Rugby World Cup in 2019.

Healy, who has missed Ireland's first two games of the Six Nations, as he recovers from a knee operation, said: "I feel that I am coming back to full fitness now and would like to thank the medical and S&C teams for their ongoing support.

"Cian is one of the most explosive athletes in world rugby." - David Nucifora

"There are a lot of exciting, young, talented players coming through at Leinster and Ireland and I am looking forward to competing for silverware over the next few seasons.”  

Healy made his senior debut for Leinster against Border Reivers in May 2007 and has since made 148 appearances for the Donnybrook-based side, scoring 17 tries.

The loose-head prop made his Ireland debut in the 20-20 draw with Australia in November 2009 and has gone on to win 56 caps for his country, scoring three tries.  His last cap for Ireland was against Argentina at last year's Rugby World Cup.

Healy toured with the series-winning British & Irish Lions squad in 2013, although his tour was cut short due to injury, and has won three European Cups, a Challenge Cup and two Pro12 league titles with Leinster, as well as two RBS 6 Nations Championship titles with Ireland. 

IRFU performance director David Nucifora said: "Cian is one of the most explosive athletes in world rugby and has proven for both Ireland and Leinster his ability to compete at the highest levels of the game. 

"We are delighted that Cian has committed to playing in Ireland up until after the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.”

Healy's commitment is the third major contract Leinster have announced this week, following the news yesterday that Ireland centre Robbie Henshaw and former Munster lock Ian Nagle will line out for the province next season.