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Ian McKinley: Fly-half named in Italy squad after losing sight in 2012


Ian McKinley made 21 appearances for Treviso last season

Republic of Ireland-born Ian McKinley, who lost the sight in his left eye six years ago, has been included in Italy’s squad for three Tests in November.

The 27-year-old fly-half was with Leinster when he sustained the injury after an accidental boot to his eye.

McKinley retired but resumed playing with the assistance of protective goggles and now represents Treviso.

The uncapped 10 is among five uncapped players in the squad for games against Fiji, Argentina and South Africa.

The other new faces are full-back Matteo Minozzi, New Zealand-born centre Jayden Hayward and back-rowers Renato Giammarioli and Giovanni Licata.

Captain and number eight Sergio Parisse and hooker Leonardo Ghiraldini, absent during the summer tour, both make their return to the panel for the games on consecutive weekends between 11-25 November.

“We have our feet on the ground and we know very well how tough the upcoming games will be,” said Italy coach Conor O’Shea.

“But we’re also conscious of the fact that we’re making significant progress towards our goal, which is to again become an extremely competitive team at international level.”

Italy squad:

Forwards: Dario Chistolini (Zebre Rugby), Simone Ferrari (Benetton Rugby), Andrea Lovotti (Zebre Rugby), Tiziano Pasquali (Benetton Rugby), Federico Zani (Benetton Rugby), Luca Bigi (Benetton Rugby), Oliviero Fabiani (Zebre Rugby), Leonardo Ghiraldini (Toulouse/FRA), George Fabio Biagi (Zebre Rugby), Dean Budd (Benetton Rugby), Marco Fuser (Benetton Rugby), Marco Lazzaroni (Benetton Rugby), Federico Ruzza (Benetton Rugby), Renato Giammarioli (Zebre Rugby Club), Giovanni Licata (Fiamme Oro), Maxime Mata Mbanda (Zebre Rugby), Francesco Minto (Benetton Rugby), Sergio Parisse (Stade Francais/FRA), Abraham Steyn (Benetton Rugby).

Backs: Edoardo Gori (Benetton Rugby), Tito Tebaldi (Benetton Rugby), Marcello Violi (Zebre Rugby Club), Carlo Canna (Zebre Rugby), Ian McKinley (Benetton Rugby), Tommaso Benvenuti (Benetton Rugby), Tommaso Boni (Zebre Rugby), Tommaso Castello (Zebre Rugby Club), Jayden Hayward (Benetton Rugby), Mattia Bellini (Zebre Rugby), Angelo Esposito (Benetton Rugby), Leonardo Sarto (Glasgow/SCO), Giovambattista Venditti (Zebre Rugby), Matteo Minozzi (Zebre Rugby Club), Edoardo Padovani (Toulon/FRA).



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