Jack Carty says he didn't have to spend long considering his new three-year deal at Connacht.

Last year however, things weren't so certain.

With Covid-19 causing a delay to contract negotiations, and the prospect of a multi-year deal unlikely given the financial uncertainty, the out-half says he did give consideration to other offers before agreeing to the one-year extension.

This week he committed his future to his home province for a further three seasons, which will bring him up to the summer of 2025.

At 29-years-old and playing some of the best rugby of his career this season, it seems likely there was interest in the Ireland international among some of the French and English sides.

The player himself says there may have been other offers on the table this time around, but he had no interest in finding out.

"I hadn't even looked, to be honest, unlike last year when there was a decision to be made," he said, ahead of Friday's United Rugby Championship meeting with the Ospreys (live on RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player).

"This time I had spoken to Willie (Ruane) and Tim (Allnut) early on, one or two bits of interest came in late but I'd no real interest to be honest.

"It was straightforward. These things sometimes gets dragged out late in the day and take a bit of time, but I'm delighted that this was straightforward and to get it done in the fashion we did."

Carty admits to giving his long-term future serious consideration in 2020.

His place in the international pecking order was one of the factors that came into his decision, with the last of his ten Ireland caps coming in 2019 at the Rugby World Cup.

It wasn't just a professional decision though, personal factors were considered with plans to get involved in the family business producing pork and bacon.

"At that time, my thought process was I'm going to back myself for the next year; get back into the Irish squad and if I don't then I'll reassess again," he added.

"There's a lot of changes and moving parts, players coming in and players coming out and changing how we're doing things, but there's probably two or three elements. The squad we have, me feeling I'm growing as a player and leader and then that family element.

"I want to stick around, my parents are getting older and there's a family business I'd like to get involved in and get an understanding of. If I went away for four or five years there wouldn't have been that opportunity to do that.

"Speaking to a lot of lads who go away, faraway hills aren't always greener. People talk about the sun in France, but they kind of forget you're getting banged up every week. You're away from family, away from friends and it can be a toss-up in terms of what sort of environment you're in.

"When you mixed all those things together there's only one decision for me."

While admitting to some frustration at not being selected initially for Ireland's Autumn Nations Series, Carty says his standing in the out-half pecking order doesn't occupy his mind as often as it used to.

Carty (right) and Luke McGrath (left) were late call-ups to the Ireland squad this month

However, he admits it did come as some relief to be the next man up when Johnny Sexton was injured for the final game of the month, picked ahead of the likes of Ross Byrne, Billy Burns and Ben Healy.

Carty trained with Ireland in the final week of the international break before warming-up as a reserve at the Aviva Stadium for the 53-7 win against Argentina, getting a close-up look at Ireland's new attacking gameplan, an environment he believes he could thrive in.

"Exactly, there's a lot of similarities. Even before, I'd have said there are similarities between what we and Ireland are trying to do," he said when asked whether he'd be suited to the way Ireland are playing.

"It's one of those things, especially that Argentina game, there seemed to be quite a lot of space and you'd be dying to be playing.

"Even just the way the ball was being moved in that New Zealand game; previously in any big game, teams would go into their shell but seeing how the ball was moved both weeks was refreshing and something you want to be a part of.

"If it was a case where I didn't get in and Johnny didn't get injured and it was during the Six Nations it'd be another five or six months down the line.

"Five, six months down the line is further away from the World Cup and further away from a New Zealand tour.

"Previously, when I went in, I would have been blowing during sessions but to see the intensity is quite similar between the two and that's a sign we're doing good stuff here."

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