World Rugby Player of the Year Johnny Sexton extended his contract with the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) on Tuesday to keep playing in his homeland until the end of the 2020-21 season.
Last month, Sexton, 33, was crowned the world's best player for 2018 after leading Ireland to a Six Nations Grand Slam, a Test series victory in Australia and the country's first-ever win over New Zealand on Irish soil, as well as spearheading Leinster's Champions Cup and Pro14 success at the club level.
Breaking: @JohnnySexton signs contract extension to 2021.— Irish Rugby (@IrishRugby) December 11, 2018
"I am delighted to sign a new IRFU contract to continue to play for @leinsterrugby and @IrishRugby It is where I have always wanted to play so I am delighted to extend" #shouldertoshoulder #TeamOfUs #Ireland #Sexton pic.twitter.com/1NM6baccOT
"I am delighted to sign a new IRFU contract to continue to play for Leinster and Ireland. It is where I have always wanted to play so I am delighted to extend," Sexton said in an IRFU statement.
"We get looked after extremely well here and it is an exciting time for Irish rugby. I am looking forward to hopefully being a part of that over the next few years"
The 33-year-old fly-half has won 78 caps, scoring 738 points, and has twice toured with the British and Irish Lions.
Sexton had a two-year spell with Racing Metro in France between 2013 and 2015 before returning to Leinster, where he is now expected to finish his career.
Sexton's contract was due to expire after next year's World Cup, where Ireland is expected to challenge the All Blacks to win the tournament for the first time in Japan.
"Johnny's hunger and drive mark him out as a truly world-class competitor," IRFU performance director David Nucifora said.
"He is a model professional and has been at the center of a lot of the success enjoyed by Irish Rugby over the past few years."