Published Wednesday, 21 November 2012
Craig Gilroy will remain with Ulster until 2016. (© Pacemaker)
Gilroy is one of the hottest prospects in Irish rugby and has received attention recently for his exploits for Ireland XV on Saturday against Fiji - scoring three tries.
The experienced 21-year-old has already played 52 times for Ulster and has been top try scorer for his province on each of the past two seasons.
His try against Munster in the Heineken Cup quarter-final last season was awarded Try of the Season at the 2012 IRUPA Player Awards.
Gilroy was educated at Methodist College before playing club rugby with Dungannon.
Speaking about the news, Gilroy said: "I am delighted that I will be playing my rugby at Ravenhill well into 2016.
"We have had a good start to both the RaboDirect PRO12 and the Heineken Cup and it is great to be a part of.
"I am looking forward to helping Ulster be successful over the course of the rest of this season and the next three seasons."
I am proud to play for my province - representing Ulster means a great deal to me. Things are going really well at the moment.
Ulster Rugby Director of Rugby, David Humphreys said he was pleased to see Gilroy's long-term commitment to the club.
"Craig is a product of the Ulster Academy and he fits with our ambition of creating a team of home-grown players capable of competing with the best in Europe.
"There is no doubt that he is an exceptional rugby player and his future both at provincial and International level is extremely bright," he added.
Meanwhile the side has named a provisional 24-man squad ahead of their Pro12 match against Treviso on Friday.
There are few changes from the squad that beat Zebre on Sunday, but there is an inclusion for young academy prospect Conor Joyce.
The 19-year-old back row plays club rugby with Malone and made one previous appearance during the 2011 Boxing Day defeat to Leinster.
Ireland squad members Declan Fitzpatrick and Tom Court have remained in Italy after being released for the Zebre game and will compete with John Afoa and Callum Black for selection in the front row.
It is Ulster's second game in Italy in a week, and they will hope to perform better than their recent narrow 25-27 win over Zebre.
Treviso have slipped to four straight defeats in all competitions since their 27-22 victory over Edinburgh at Murrayfield on 5th October and they have lost their last seven encounters with Irish provinces.
Ulster, on the other hand, are currently unbeaten in the competition and sit at the top of the table.
They have won their last five away games and have never lost in nine previous visits to Italy in all competitions.
Forwards: Rob Herring, Nigel Brady, Callum Black, Declan Fitzpatrick, Tom Court, John Afoa, Neil McComb, James Simpson, Robbie Diack, Conor Joyce, Mike McComish, Ali Birch, Roger Wilson, Nick Williams.
Backs: Michael Heaney, Blane McIlroy, Niall O'Connor, Stuart Olding, Paddy Wallace, Jared Payne, Michael Allen, Chris Cochrane, Ricky Andrew, Peter Nelson.