Jamie Heaslip has signed an IRFU contract which will see him remain at Leinster until the end of the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.

The Ireland number 8 said: "I'm delighted to be given the opportunity to continue to represent Leinster and Ireland.

“My aim when I started my professional rugby career was to leave the jersey - either the blue of Leinster or the green of Ireland - in a better place than when I first put it on and this new contract gives me the chance to continue to chase this dream.”

Heaslip attracted interest from Toulon in 2014 but Ireland coach Joe Schmidt has made no secret of his preference for international players to remain with the provinces, Ian Madigan and Marty Moore have found it hard to force their way into his plans since moving to Bordeaux and Wasps respectively last year .

Heaslip made his Leinster debut in 2005, and won his first international cap against the Pacific Islands in 2006. The 33-year-old has played 93 times for his country and made 227 appearances in for Leinster.

A two-time tourist with the British & Irish Lions (2009 and 2013), he has won a Grand Slam (2009) and two Six Nations titles (2014, 2015) with Ireland, and three Heineken Cups, an Amlin Challenge Cup and two Pro12 league titles with Leinster.

The Kildare man was shortlisted for World Rugby Player in 2009 and 2016, losing out to New Zealand's Richie McCaw first time out and Beauden Barrett last year.

IRFU Performance Director, David Nucifora, said: "Jamie continues to illustrate why he is one of the top performers in international rugby. He is a leader for both his country and province and delivers a high level of performance every time he pulls on the green or blue jersey.”