Former Leinster player Ian McKinley will start for Zebre in this Sunday’s Guinness PRO12 game in Parma.

A graduate from the Leinster Academy who played four times for the province and scored one try (v Benetton Treviso), McKinley will start the game in the number 10 jersey.

McKinley was forced to retire from rugby at the age of 21 after losing sight in his left eye but has since returned to play for Zebre in the Guinness PRO12 and Viadana in the Italian National Championship.

The 26-year-old is currently participating in World Rugby’s Raleri Goggles trial, which the IRFU recently joined.

Speaking to RTÉ last year, McKinley said: “I can’t see 25% of what’s to the side of me, but with plenty of exercise and future projects that I’m currently doing, hopefully this will continue to improve.

“I’d three years out of the game that I didn’t play and I feel that I need to make up for lost time.”

Leinster will face Zebre on Sunday in Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi (KO 3pm – Irish time/4pm – Italian time). The match will be broadcast live on Sky Sports. More broadcast info.

Zebre team v Leinster

15. Mils Muliaina
14. Giulio Toniolatti
13. Tommaso Boni
12. Matteo Pratichetti
11. Kayle Van Zyl
10. Ian McKinley
9. Fabio Semenzato
1. Bruno Postiglioni
2. Oliviero Fabiani
3. Guillermo Roan
4. Quintin Geldenhuys
5. Marco Bortolami Captain
6. Jacopo Sarto
7. Federico Ruzza
8. Johan Meyer


16. Gabriele Morelli
17. Andrea De Marchi
18. Pietro Ceccarelli
19. Gideon Koegelenberg
20. Emiliano Caffini
21. Luke Burgess
22. Maicol Azzolini
23. Ulrich Beyers