Live

OTB Gold

06:00 PM-07:00 PM

OTB Gold
Advertisement
Rugby

McKinley announces second retirement from rugby

Former Italy, Benetton and Leinster outhalf Ian McKinley has announced his retirement from rugby ...

Stephen Doyle
Stephen Doyle

15:20 29 Mar 2021



McKinley announces second reti...
Rugby

McKinley announces second retirement from rugby

Stephen Doyle
Stephen Doyle

15:20 29 Mar 2021

Former Italy, Benetton and Leinster outhalf Ian McKinley has announced his retirement from rugby after a ten-year career.

McKinley was forced to retire ten years ago after sustaining a detached retina during an All-Ireland League match, which resulted in him losing the sight in his left eye.

The Leinster academy graduate revealed the news in a social media post on Monday.

"Today, aged 31, I officially announce my second retirement from playing rugby at all levels of the game. My professional career has been unconventional," wrote McKinley.

"10 years ago, I was forced aged 21 to announce my retirement from Leinster and Ireland u20s, when my left eyeball was perforated and my retina detached, following a rugby injury. It was very hard to accept this decision."

McKinley moved to Italy to work on becoming a coach but it was there that he became involved with trials of special protective playing goggles which were eventually approved by World Rugby in 2016.

He went on to play for Benetton before being playing for Italy after qualifying through the residency rules. The Dubliner made his debut against Fiji in 2017 and went on to collect eight caps.

"I moved to Udine in Italy to coach rugby," added McKinley. "After three years an opportunity arose to become the first player in the world to use Rugby Goggles and play with protection for my good eye.

"This return led to a global campaign seeking access to play at the highest levels of rugby, albeit as a visually impaired, professional out-half.

"By helping to bring into law the worldwide use of Rugby Goggles, it has been an incredible joy to see thousands of other visually impaired players enabled to play rugby. This will always give me an enormous sense of achievement and pride.

"Following the Barbarians, Pro14, Champions Cup, Six Nations and International campaigns, today I get to finish my playing career again, but happily this time on my own terms.

"I want to sincerely thank all the teams, coaches and staff from school to international level that I have been a part of. I am deeply indebted to teams in Ireland such as St Columba’s College, UCD, St Mary’s College, Leinster Rugby and Ireland underage teams who nurtured and developed my early career.

"I am also particularly grateful to those in Italy who gave me a second chance- Leonorso, Viadana, Zebre, Benetton and of course the Italian national team.

"I also want to thank the rugby community in Ireland and Italy especially, who have been incredibly supportive in my playing journey from beginning to end. And to the teammates who have become friends for life.

"But mostly I’d like to thank my amazing wife, family and friends who have lifted me up in my darkest days and have supported me unconditionally throughout my playing career.

"I look forward to what the future holds."

Download the brand new OTB Sports App in the Play Store & App Store right now! We've got you covered!

Subscribe to OTB Sports's YouTube channel for more videos, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for the latest sporting news and content.


Read more about

Guinness Pro14 Ian Mckinley Ireland Irish Rugby Italy Leinster Six Nations

Live: Title

Description

Added to queue
Removed from queue

On Air

Share

Share

Next up in queue

Title
Description
Duration

There are currently no podcasts in the queue

Go to podcasts

On Air

OTB Gold

OTB Gold

06:00 PM-07:00 PM

Share

Up next

LIVE: Republic of Ireland V Georgia

LIVE: Republic of Ireland V Georgia

07:00 PM-09:00 PM

Share

LIVE: The Football Show

LIVE: The Football Show

09:00 PM-10:00 PM

Share

Repeat: Off The Ball

Repeat: Off The Ball

10:00 PM-12:00 AM

Share

Repeat: OTB AM

Repeat: OTB AM

12:00 AM-02:00 AM

Share

Repeat: Off The Ball

Repeat: Off The Ball

02:00 AM-05:00 AM

Share

Repeat: OTB AM

Repeat: OTB AM

05:00 AM-07:00 AM

Share

Highlights on Off The Ball

Highlights on Off The Ball

07:00 AM-07:30 AM

Share

LIVE: OTB AM

LIVE: OTB AM

07:30 AM-10:00 AM

Share

Repeat: OTB AM

Repeat: OTB AM

10:00 AM-12:00 PM

Share

Highlights on Off The Ball

Highlights on Off The Ball

12:00 PM-01:00 PM

Share

OTB Gold

OTB Gold

01:00 PM-02:00 PM

Share

Highlights on Off The Ball

Highlights on Off The Ball

02:00 PM-05:00 PM

Share

LIVE: Wednesday Night Rugby

LIVE: Wednesday Night Rugby

05:00 PM-06:00 PM

Share

OTB Gold

OTB Gold

06:00 PM-07:00 PM

Share

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Share on